June 23, 2019 Rd 10 Suportsland Sugo

Oyu charges to a coveted first F3 victory in his second season
Miyata finishes second on the road but his #26 is put under investigation

■Furious lead battles played in Rd 10 affected by 2 SC periods

 Japanese F3 championship Rd 10 took place at Sportsland Sugo on yet another cloudy day when Toshiki Oyu (in TODA FIGHTEX) celebrated his first F3 victory.

 In the Saturday’s qualifying most of the drivers had done their first attacks before the session was red-flagged, and as was the case with Ritomo Miyata (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317) - who took pole position in a row - the times from the first attacks determined the grid for Rd 10 for many of those drivers.

 Oyu secured second position on the grid ahead of Kazuto Kotaka (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S F317).

 Sacha Fenestraz (B-Max Racing with motopark F3) and Enaam Ahmed (B-Max Racing with motopark F3), both of whom embarked on their attacks only after the restart of the session, qualified fourth and fifth respectively, followed by Yoshiaki Katayama (YTB by Carlin), Charles Milesi (YTB by Carlin) and Hiroki Otsu (ThreeBond F318).

 Despite cool, cloudy weather the circuit was bustling with a lot of visitors on Sunday, and the race started at 10:20 am for 25 laps with all the cars except Milesi who had to miss the race due to a failure.

■ Oyu narrowly holds off Miyata

 Oyu made a clean getaway to grab the lead from Miyata while Kotaka was struggling to get up to speed as well as his team mate, allowing Fenestraz to make a pass at the start, and then Ahmed to get by around the outside of the first corner.

 At the end of the opening lap came Oyu, Miyata, Fenestraz, Ahmed, Kotaka, Katayama and Otsu.

 Lap two saw furious battles fought over eighth. Ameya Vaidyanathan (B-Max Racing with motopark F3) briefly got ahead of Shunsuke Kohno (RS FINE K&N F318) for eighth at the first corner, but Kohno snatched back the position at turn two. Tairoku Yamaguchi (Tairoku Racing #28 car) in the master class went off the track at the first corner on the same lap after a squabble with Ai Miura (ThreeBond F314), prompting the safety car to clear Yamaguchi’s machine.

 When the safety car lights went out at the end of lap five Oyu slowed down to effectively pull away from the Umanose.

 Fenestraz closed in on Miyata but fell short of overtaking, so there was no change in the order of the top three at the restart.

 A little back fifth-placed Kotaka tried a move around the outside of Ahmed into the first corner, only to see the latter to hold firm, and instead find himself being charged by Katayama as he was struggling to get up to speed at the exit, with the two continuing to scrap for most of the lap until Kotaka finally shook Katayama off.

 With Oyu struggling for pace up front Miyata was behind him just waiting for any opportunity for overtaking with Fenestraz in tow, while punching in some fastest laps. The trop would soon be caught by the trailing pack of Ahmed, Kotaka and Katayama, bunching the field up.

 Once the gap to his main rival was significantly reduced on lap 17 Miyata dived down the outside of Oyu at turn one, and while this attempt was rebuffed, the Tom’s driver kept charging until next lap when DRAGON (TEAM DRAGON F3) went off at turn three, bringing out the safety car again.

 When the safety car lights went out on lap 22 Oyu once again slowed down for clear air and got the hammer down at the SP out corner now to break away at the restart on lap 23.

 Miyata finished second on the road, but a protest was raised against his #26 car, which is now under investigation.

 Fenestraz, Ahmed, Kotaka and Katayama finished in the points.

 Katsuaki Kubota (Planex Sma Came F3) won the master class in a row.

※The organizer reached a decision on the 11th of July to accept the protest raised against the #36 car by B-Max Racing with motopark and give Miyata a sentence of exclusion.

 Consequently, Fenestraz, Ahmed, Kotaka, Katayama and Otsu were classified second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.