August 19, 2018 Rd. 11 Twin Ring Motegi

Tsuboi takes a dominant full-mark victory, his sixth win of the season
Kanamaru outruns Sasahara to his first-ever F3 podium finish in P3

Sho Tsuboi(Collora Chukyo Kuo TOM'S F317)

Start of Japanese F3 Round.11

In the qualifying of the Japanese Formula 3 championship on Saturday Sho Tsuboi in Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317 secured pole position for Rd. 11, posting 1m43.657 on his second set of tyres.

Race 2 of 3-race Twin Ring Motegi weekend had the same top three lineup as in the previous race as Ritomo Miyata (in Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317) qualified second and Yu Kanamaru (B-MAX RACING F3) third ahead of Sena Sakaguchi (TODA FIGHTEX).

■Middle stages see fierce battles unfold

Sho Tsuboi(Collora Chukyo Kuo TOM'S F317)

As the race started at 8:25 am on Sunday August 19th Tsuboi made a good getaway to leap into the first corner from the outside line at the front. Retaining the third spot that he had lost at the start of Rd 10 Kanamaru entered turn one behind Miyata. Behind them Sakaguchi and Toshiki Oyu (TODA FIGHTEX) were fighting for fourth place, the Toda pair seeing Ukyo Sasahara (THREEBOND) – who had suffered retirement due to a clutch failure the day before – approaching.

Sasahara impressively snatched the forth spot by passing Sakaguchi at turn five on lap three and Oyu at turn five on lap six where Oyu was also overtaken by Sakaguchi.

Further back there were fierce battles fought by a pack of Yoshiaki Katayama (YTB F318) in front, Shunsuke Kohno (HubAuto F318) – who had dropped down the order on the opening lap, the up and running Kiyoto Fujinami (B-MAX RACING TEAM) on his debut event and Yuuki Nemoto (Albirex-RT), with Kohno eventually fending off the others to move up to seventh ahead of Fujinami. Having slowing down while being overtaken Katayama now faced Nemoto, the two playing out fierce battle which would go into closing stages.

Yu Kanamaru(B-MAX RACING F3)

Going side-by-side into turn five on lap 11 Katayama was finally able to get ahead of Nemoto at the exit of the hairpin, but Nemoto found himself stuck behind as Katayama blocked the right hand side line, and hit the rear of the YTB F318 before sending Katayama spinning and spearing into the barrier.

“It was all the more regrettable given that I was doing very well. Yeah, it was my fault…” said Nemoto.

■Tsuboi holds on for his eighth win

Meanwhile, the lead fight that was very close at the beginning would see more than a second gap in the closing laps and ultimately a 1.448 secs as Tsuboi crossed the line, having set the fastest lap of 1m44.373 on lap eight. It was a remarkable result indeed as he scored full-marks for the third time in a row. Miyata also finished second for the third time in a row.

The fight for third between the long-standing rivals from a kart series in Europe was won by Kanamaru as he kept cool and outran a hard charging Sasahara when the Threebond dived down the inside at the 90 deg. corner. Kanamaru claimed his first-ever F3 podium finish in third.
The fifth went to Sakaguchi and the sixth to Oyu.

Jake Parsons (NODA RACING) has been crowned 2018 F3-N champion after finishing 14th and scoring full F3-N points in all the races so far of the season.