Japanese F3: Miyata and Ahmed Wins at SUGO Reduces Gap in Title Race

Ritomo Miyata's two wins at Sportsland SUGO has closed the gap to Sacha Fenstraz in the Japanese F3 Championship. Image sourced from @M_Ritmo via Twitter.

Race Wins for Ritomo Miyata and Enaam Ahmed at Sportsland SUGO has reduced Sacha Fenestraz’s lead in the Japanese F3 Championship.

Newey and Muth Debut in Japanese F3

Harrison Newey replaced Tairoku Yamaguchi for this weekend’s Japanese F3 action at Sportsland SUGO. Image sourced from autosalon.tokyo

In the build-up to this weekend’s Japanese F3 Championship action at Sportsland SUGO, it was confirmed that Harrison Newey would race for B-Max Racing.

The No.28 car – which is usually run under the Tairoku Racing name – was given to the Briton to aid his development in Super Formula.

Regular driver Tairoku Yamaguchi is still suffering from a prolonged illness and isn’t expected to return to action any time soon.

Newey and Yamaguchi raced together earlier this year in the Fuji 24 Hours in the Super Taikyu Series.

Esteban Muth in the cockpit of the No.8 YTB car at Sportsland SUGO. Image sourced from @YTB3703 via Twitter.

Elsewhere, the YTB by Carlin outfit have also given 17-year-old Esteban Muth his Japanese F3 debut.

This comes after Charles Milesi injured his wrist following an incident during the first round at Sportsland SUGO earlier this year.

Muth recieves backing from former Super Formula champion Andre Lotterer, and spent 2018 racing in French Formula 4. Across 21 races, Muth recorded four podiums and two fastest laps.

More recently, the Belgian also competed in this year’s Toyota Racing Series. Muth took victory at the Bruce McLaren Motorsports Park en route to fifth in the championship.

ThreeBond Racing also withdrew Ai Miura on medical grounds, after her incident last time out at Fuji Speedway.

Miyata Eases to Victory in Race One

Ritomo Miyata leads the way on Japanese F3’s second visit of 2019 to Sportsland SUGO. Image sourced from @tomsracing.

Ritomo Miyata got a good start from pole position and led into Turn 1. Sacha Fenestraz took second, ahead of Miyata’s team-mate Kazuko Kotaka.

Behind them, Enaam Ahmed slotted into fourth ahead of the debuting Newey. Additionally, Toshiki Oyu and Yoshiaki Katayama scrapped over sixth place.

At the beginning of Lap 2, Kotaka ran wide at Turn 1. This presented Fenestraz with an opportunity to take the lead.

The Frenchman attempted a move into Turn 4, only for Kotaka to cut across and slam the door shut.

As the race wore on, Miyata created a gap to Fenestraz and Kotaka, with the pair trying their best to stay in touch.

However, they couldn’t improve their pace, with Miyata powering on to claim his fourth win of the season.

Behind him, Fenestraz claimed second ahead of Kokata to minimise the damage in the championship.

Ahmed came home in a lonely fourth, with Newey holding off a late charge from Oyu to claim a respectable fifth place.

Ahmed On Top

Enaam Ahmed talks to a pit lane report during the Japanese F3 weekend at Sportsland SUGO. Image sourced from @Enaammotorsport via Twitter.

Enaam Ahmed started the second race of the weekend from Pole and maintained the lead into Turn 1.

Behind him, Ritomo Miyata lost second place to Sacha Fenestraz with Kazuko Kotaka close behind.

At the end of the first lap, Fenestraz used the benefited of slipstream to attempt a manoeuvre for first place.

Unfortunately for him, Ahmed was alert and quickly moved over to defend the position.

As the field settled, Ahmed started to develop a small gap to Fenestraz, with Miyata and Kotaka falling further back.

However, Fenestraz was unable to get close enough to his team-mate and attempt another pass.

As a result, Ahmed went on to take his second win of the season, as Fenestraz settled for second place.

Miyata beat Kotaka to third, while Yoshiaki Katayama kept Harrison Newey at bay in the battle for fifth place.

Miyata Puts the Hammer Down in Race Three

Ritomo Miyata punches the air in delight after taking his second win of the weekend at Sportsland SUGO. Image sourced from @M_Ritmo via Twitter.

Ritomo Miyata got a reasonable start from Pole, but had to go defensive to prevent Sacha Fenestraz from taking the lead.

Kazuko Kotaka held third from Enaam Ahmed, while Harrison Newey was in fifth ahead of Toshiki Oyu and Yoshiaki Katayama.

Out in front, Miyata immediately pulled a sizeable gap to title rival Fenestraz and would remain unchallenged. Subsequently, he easily claimed his fifth win of the season.

Fenestraz would once again finished in second, with Kotaka in third and the trio of Ahmed, Newey and Oyu completing the top six.

Fenestraz loses ground in the Drivers’ Standings

As a result of the weekend’s Japanese F3 action, Sacha Fenestraz continues to the Drivers’ Standings on 119 points.

However, Ritomo Miyata has reduced his advantage down to 28 points, with five races remaining.

Enaam Ahmed is the only other driver with a mathematical chance of becoming champion third and is 56 points adrift of his French team-mate.

In the continued absence of Tairoku Yamaguchi and Katsuaki Kubota, Ryuji ‘Dragon’ Kumita also extended his lead in the Masters Class to 27 points.

2019 Japanese F3 Championship – Drivers’ Standings after 15 Races:

Pos. Driver (Nationality), Team Points
1 Sacha Fenestraz (FRA), B-Max Racing with Motopark 119
2 Ritomo Miyata (JPN), Corolla Chukyo Team TOM’s 91
3 Enaam Ahmed (GBR), B-Max Racing with Motopark 63
4 Toshiki Oyu (GBR), Toda Racing 49
5 Kazuko Kotaka (JPN), Corolla Chukyo Team TOM’s 40
6 Yoshiaki Katayama (JPN), OIRC Team YTB by Carlin 29
7 Hiroki Otsu (JPN), ThreeBond Racing 24
8 Sena Sakaguchi, (JPN), Corolla Chukyo Team TOM’s 10
9 Shunsuke Kohno, (JPN), RS Fine 9
10 Charles Milesi, (FRA), OIRC Team YTB by Carlin 8
11 Harrison Newey (GBR), B-Max Racing with Motopark 5
12 Ameya Vaidyanathan (IND), B-Max Racing with Motopark 0
13 Esteban Muth (BEL), OIRC Team YTB by Carlin 0
14 Hiroki Kokuzawa (JPN), Hanashima Racing 0
15 Ai Miura (JPN), ThreeBond Racing 0
2019 Japanese F3 Masters’ Class Points
1 Ryuji ‘Dragon’ Kumita (JPN), B-Max Racing with Motopark 103
2 Tairoku Yamaguchi (JPN), Tairoku Racing 76
3 Katsuaki Kubota (JPN), Hanashima Racing 45