May 26 2018 Round. 3 SportsLand SUGO

Tsuboi clinches third straight win with a perfect lights-to-flag
Oyu scores his first ever podium finish in three

Sho Tsuboi(Collora Chukyo Kuo TOM'S F317)

Following three practice sessions for two days qualifying of Japanese F3 Championship Rd 3 started at 10:20 am Saturday at Sportsland SUGO. On first attacks Ritomo Miyata (in Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317) topped the times with 1m13.418, ahead of his team-mate Sho Tsuboi (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317) who posted 1m13.435, with Toshiki Oyu (TODA FIGHTEX) in third and Sena Sakaguchi (TODA FIGHTEX) in fourth.

Sho Tsuboi(Collora Chukyo Kuo TOM'S F317)

All the machines pitted and then with less than 10 minutes remaining they came out for second attacks. As soon as each car began to warm up its tires Motoyoshi Yoshida (B-MAX ENGINEERING F3) went off the track at turn three, causing the session to be red flagged.

Having adjusted his F317 after his first attack Tsuboi secured a pole position for Rd 3 as he set 1m13.058 just before the red flag stoppage. Miyata failed to improve his times and settled for second ahead of Oyu and Sakaguchi.

■Tsuboi pulls away in the lead

Ritomo Miyata(Collora Chukyo Kuo TOM'S F317)

The Rd 3 race was delayed by 15 minutes due to a red-flag interruption in a preceding Super Formula qualifying. On the formation lap that started at 3:15 pm Tsuboi led away, and Miyata followed in second.

Sakaguchi squeezed up the inside of turn one for third, only for Oyu to snatch back the spot by similarly diving up the inside into turn one on lap two.

Shunsuke Kohno (HubAuto F318) overtook Yoshiaki Katayama (YTB F318) at Umanose on the same lap for seventh place behind Ukyo Sasahara (THREEBOND) in fifth and Yu Kanamaru (B-MAX RACING F3) in sixth.


Tsuboi quickly opened up a lead of 1.130 secs over Miyata at the end of the opening lap. A duel for the final podium position between Oyu and Sakaguchi would continue until the middle of the race.

■Battle between Oyu and Sakaguchi for final podium position

Tsuboi had built up about 1.5 secs lead over Miyata when the race passed lap ten. Miyata had also extended the gap to Oyu to about 5 secs. The battle for the final podium position with the gap narrowed down to 0.5 secs was now fought by three as Sasahara in fifth caught up with Oyu and Sakaguchi.

Even though the lead two were trading fastest laps en route Tsuboi ultimately completed the 18-lap race at the front with a comfortable gap, clinching third straight win and scoring full marks including a point from picking up the fastest lap.


Holding on to his position until the end Oyu scored his first ever podium finish in three behind Miyata.
Sakaguchi, Sasahara and Kanamaru finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. The fight for seventh place among Kohno, Katayama and Yuuki Nemoto (Albirex-RT) came down to the very final lap, with the RS FINE man fending off the other two.

In F3-N Jake Parsons (NRA312) finished 13th overall, scoring points once again.