May 19, 2019 Rd. 4 Autopolis

Fenestraz makes it back-to-back wins in a fraught Rd 4 with multiple safety car deployments

Sacha Fenestraz(B-Max Racing with motopark)

Sacha Fenestraz(B-Max Racing with motopark)
Toshiki Oyu(TODA RACING)
Enaam Ahmed(B-Max Racing with motopark)

The low pressure system staying in the Kyushu region contrary to the forecast saw yet another race start behind the safety car on Sunday. The podium was secured by the same Rd 3 lineup with Sacha Fenestraz (in B-Max Racing with motopark F3) at its top, Toshiki Oyu (TODA FIGHTEX) in second and Enaam Ahmed (B-Max Racing with motopark F3) in third.

The rain kept intensifying and easing off before falling more gently with the skies beginning to lighten, but the Rd 4 race was started at 10:05 under the safety car on a second straight day due to completely wet conditions with streams flowing across the track. Fenestraz had took pole position for the race with his second best time in the Saturdayfs qualifying ahead of Oyu and Ahmed, followed by Shunsuke Kohno (RS FINE K&N F318), Hiroki Otsu (ThreeBond F318), Charles Milesi (YTB by Carlin), Yoshiaki Katayama (YTB by Carlin), Kazuto Kotaka (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOMfS F317), Ritomo Miyata (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOMfS F317) and Ameya Vaidyanathan (B-Max Racing with motopark F3) in this order.

As the safety car pulled in at the end of lap three and the race got properly underway the pole-sitter Fenestraz slightly slowed down to fully put his foot down into the last turn as in the previous round, and Oyu closely followed him.

Behind the two Otsu was catching up with Kohno. Milesi and Katayama went into the final turn battling closely.

Keeping his composure with adequate attention to those running behind Fenestraz would gradually extend his lead.

gAs a matter of fact, I was frightened when the machine slid at turn oneh he revealed after the race.

Oyu would also open up his advantage over Ahmed - who was actually struggling to make his fuel last to the end of the race as the teamfs mechanics had put a wrong amount.

A pack of Kohno, Otsu, Milesi, Katayama, Kotaka and Miyata was being bunched up when Katsuaki Kubota spun and crashed at the exit of turn one on lap five, prompting a second safety car to clear his Planex SmaCame F3 that stopped on the inside of the track.

Oyu comes 2nd after an impressive fight with Fenestraz
Saved by a SC Ahmed holds on to 3rd

As the safety car peeled in at the end of lap seven Fenestraz again slowed down to press the pedal to the floor just before the final turn, while Oyu also got the hammer down at just the right moment into the turn but fell short of overtaking the race leader.

Behind the two furious battles would be played out. Kohno made a pass up the inside of Ahmed at turn two, only to see the B-Max with Motopark to dive down the inside of him into the first hairpin to snatch back the third spot.

Kazuto Kotaka(Collora Chukyo Kuo TEAM TOM'S)

Further back, Kotaka got ahead of Katayama to seventh. A collision between Tairoku Yamaguchi (Tairoku Racing #28 car) and DRAGON (TEAM DRAGON F3) sent both off the track to the gravel, resulting in third safety car deployment.

With the 35-min time limit ticking down the safety car finally pulled in at the end of lap 12, and only 1m 20 secs was left as Fenestraz restarted at the front for lap 13.

As usual Fenestraz put his foot down just before the final turn, and while a new wet patch there slightly delayed his pace the Frenchman kept his cool to hold on for his back-to-back wins. Oyu and Ahmed each maintained their positions.

Kotaka passed Milesi at turn one, taking the final point in sixth. A last minute overtaking pass on Katayama brought Miyata eighth spot.

It was Fenestraz who won the 13-lap race instead of initially scheduled 14 laps, with Oyu in second and Ahmed in third. Kohno, Otsu and Kotaka rounded out the points positions.