August 17, 2019 Rd 17 Twin Ring Motegi

Miyata fights back with a lights-to-flag display, maintaining his interest in the title fight with Fenestraz

Ritomo Miyata(Collora Chukyo Kuo TEAM TOMfS)

@Ritomo Miyata in Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOMfS F317 won a furious lead battle with Sacha Fenestraz (B-Max Racing with motopark F3) just after the start to claim a lights-to-flag victory in Rd 17 of the Japanese Formula 3 championship on Sunday. He also set the fastest lap. Kazuto Kotaka (Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOMfS F317) made a comeback from his retirement in Rd 16 as he placed third behind Fenestraz.

Early head-to-head lead battle between Miyata and Fenestraz

@Topping the second-best times in the Saturdayfs qualifying interrupted by a 30-min red flag due to a time-keeping system error Miyata secured pole position for Rd 17 race.

@Fenestraz suffered with oversteer at turn two on his second lap and settled for second ahead of Kotaka, Enaam Ahmed (B-Max Racing with motopark F3), Charles Milesi (YTB by Carlin) Toshiki Oyu (TODA FIGHTEX), Ukyo Sasahara (B-Max Racing with motopark F3) - who made a special appearance in the race - and Hiroki Otsu (ThreeBond F318).

@With the sky beginning to clear up the formation lap started at 8:25 am and all the 13 cars got away for the chequered flag 14 laps away

@It was Fenestraz who got the best start of the field and quickly got up to speed.

@KMiyata made a relatively good start from pole but it took him some time to pick up the pace, so he slipped down the inside line on the run to the first corner to defend from Fenestraz, the pair going wheel-to-wheel through turn two without giving each other an inch even though Fenestraz slightly moved to the outside for some breathing space, briefly forcing Miyata into the gravel. It was when Miyata took the inside line at turn three to hold on to the lead that this battle concluded

Kotaka makes a comeback from his retirement in Rd 16 with a podium finish

Kazuto Kotaka(Collora Chukyo Kuo TEAM TOMfS)

@Ahmed bogged down off the fourth position on the grid and was immediately jumped by Milesi.

@Behind them Oyu got the better of Otsu in a close battle over fifth place at the S-shape bend. Otsu dropped off the pace exiting the bend, allowing Shunsuke Kohno (RS FINE K&N F318) and Yoshiaki Katayama (YTB by Carlin) to get past and Sasahara to quickly close in. Albeit Sasaharafs aggressive overtaking moves at various points of the race, including turn two on lap three and four, the 90 deg bend on lap six and turn five and the 90 deg bend on lap nine Otsu kept his composure to hold the eight position.

@Up at the front, there was no further close battle fought after the opening lap as Miyata gradually built gap over Fenestraz, while posting fastest laps, 1m45.227 on lap two and 1.45.143 on lap five.

@gI struggled for grip throughout the race and slid at each turn maybe due to the rain last night,h said Fenestraz, who made a final dash on the last lap in hope of setting fastest lap, only to make mistakes at some turns. gMy attempt might not have been realistic, but I had nothing to loseh.

@Miyata continued to circulate with his pace staying steady to pick up his sixth win of the season with full-marks including a point from the fastest lap, slashing the margin to Fenestraz at the head of the standings to 28 points.

@Unable to take full advantage of fresh rubber Kotaka ended in third behind Fenestraz. Milesi, Oyu and Kohno rounded out the top six.

@DRAGON (TEAM DRAGON F3) recorded his second Master class win in a row.

@If Fenestraz goes lights-to-flag for Rd 18 he will be crowned champion, and if Miyata wins and sets the fastest lap as well the title showdown will be carried over to the seasonfs final event at Okayama. You just canft miss the next round in the afternoon!