June 9, 2019 Rd. 8 Okayama International Circuit

Katayama takes his first F3 win at his home circuit
Fenestraz settles for P2 in a row

Yoshiaki Katayama(OIRC team YTB)

Yoshiaki Katayama (in YTB by Carlin) finally took his first F3 win at Okayama International Circuit three years after winning the F3 N-class in 2016 and advancing to the FIA Appendix J compliant car in 2017.

Sacha Fenestraz (B-Max Racing with motopark F3) settled for second in a row after a delay at the start.

Ritomo Miyata (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOMfS F317) rounded out the podium in third.

The grid for Rd 8 was decided by the finishing order of Rd 6, so Fenestraz took pole position, followed by Katayama, Miyata, Charles Milesi (YTB by Carlin), Sena Sakaguchi (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOMfS F317), Toshiki Oyu (TODA FIGHTEX), Shunsuke Kohno (RS FINE K&N F318), Ameya Vaidyanathan (B-Max Racing with motopark F3), Hiroki Otsu (ThreeBond F318) and Enaam Ahmed (B-Max Racing with motopark F3).

‘Miyata gets the holeshot and despite a scrap through the first corner comes out in the lead

Rd 8 of Japanese F3 championship started for 18 laps at 2:15 pm on Sunday still in early summer dry weather but with higher air and track temperatures than in the morning.

Yoshiaki Katayama(OIRC team YTB)
Sacha Fenestraz(B-Max Racing with motopark)

It was Katayama starting from second who got the best start of the field when the lights went out at 2:18 pm, the YTB driver going side-by-side with a slightly delayed pole-sitter Fenestraz and coming out of the first corner in the lead.

Sakaguchi made one position as he got ahead of Milesi at the start.

The opening lap already saw an incident over ninth spot. Ahmed challenged the inside of Otsu at the first hairpin, only to run off the track onto the kerb and retire at the gravel. The Briton would be hit with a point penalty for the gdangeroush driving.

Katayama pushed up front, touring at less than 1m24 secs on lap three and lap four in a bid to escape away. Fenestraz pushed, too, similarly posting less than 1m24 secs on lap three and set the fastest lap of 1m23.830 on lap four, with the two leaders continuing to circulate within a second of each other.

Yoshiaki Katayama(OIRC team YTB)

Miyata also aimed at setting fastest lap on lap five but his 1m23.856 fell a bit short.

With the fight between Fenestraz and Miyata settling down to a gap of 1 to 1.2 secs each driver in the leading pack was struggling to get a crucial opportunity for overtaking at this circuit known with few overtaking points.

Katayama kept up the pace to claim his first victory in the Japanese F3 championship. gI was troubled by unstable rear in Rd 6 and Rd 7,h said Katayama. gSo, we tweaked the setup and that really worked.h

Fenestraz placed second in a row and picked up a point for setting up the fastest lap again. Miyata was third.

There was no change in order behind them as Sakaguchi, Milesi and Oyu rounded out the points finish.

DRAGON (TEAM DRAGON F3) made it back-to-back Master Class win.