Ritomo Miyata added to his win tally at Sportsland SUGO, while Toshiki Oyu claimed his first victory of the 2019 Japanese F3 Championship.
Team TOM’s Dominate Race One at SUGO
Rimoto Miyata started race one from pole position, with team-mate Kazuko Kotaka alongside him on the front row.
At the start, Miyata maintained the lead ahead of Kotaka, with Charles Milesi in third. Behind them, Sacha Fenestraz went around the outside of Enaam Ahmed to move up to fourth place.
On Lap 2, Toshiki Oyu lunged down the inside of Ahmed at Turn 1 but ran wide. Subsequently, the Briton had to slow down to avoid a crash and left the pair vulnerable to an overtake.
This allowed Hiroki Otsu to pick up the pieces, who claimed fifth position.
At the front, Miyata was pulling away from Kotaka, who was closely followed by the French duo of Milesi and Fenestraz.
Incident between Masters Dragon and Yamaguchi
Then, the Safety Car was deployed after an incident occurred between Ryuji ‘Dragon’ Kumita and Tairoku Yamaguchi.
On the approach to Turn 1, Kumita attempted a manoeuvre on the inside, only for Yamaguchi to close the door. This caused contact between the two and sent Yamaguchi into a spin.
As Kumita tried to return to the track, he hit Yamaguchi’s car and broke the rear suspension. Although Yamaguchi would continue, he stopped at 110R shortly after and also retired from the race.
Injury for Milesi
On the restart, Miyata and Kokata led the way, while Fenestraz challenged compatriot Milesi over third place.
After failing to go around the outside at the first attempt, Fenestraz got a good drive out of 110R. The championship leader then used the subsequent slipstream to draft alongside Milesi towards Turn 1.
As the pair entered Turn 2 side by side, Milesi suddenly experienced oversteer and conceded third place to Fenestraz. At the end of the lap, Milesi pulled into the pits and unexpectedly retired.
It was later revealed that Milesi fractured his hand as the car lost control. As a result, the Frenchman failed was unable to compete in the second race.
P3 in qualifying but my wrist is still painful. I could not finish the race. I also could not take the departures today. Because my wrist is broken I need to have surgery. Massive thanks to the team and we will come back stronger ! 👊#f3jp #bellhelmets #oircteamytb #carlinracing pic.twitter.com/PnrKaUch34
— Charles_milesi (@Charles_Milesi) June 23, 2019
Meanwhile, Ritomo Miyata remained unchallenged and took his third win of the season.
Despite a late charge from Sacha Fenestraz, Kazuko Kotaka held on to finish in second by just 0.027 seconds.
Hiroki Otsu claimed fourth for ThreeBond Racing, with Toshiki Oyu and Enaam Ahmed rounding up the top six.
— MotorBox (@motor_box) June 22, 2019
Oyu Claims Maiden Win of 2019 at SUGO
For the second race at Sportsland SUGO, Ritomo Miyata started on pole position. However, he bogged down on the race start and lost the lead to Toshiki Oyu.
Behind them them, Miyata’s team-mate Kazuko Kotaka also got a slow start. As a result, he dropped to fifth behind Sacha Fenestraz and Enaam Ahmed.
On Lap 2, Ameya Vaidyanathan lunged down the inside of Shunsuke Kohno at Turn 1 for eighth place. However, the Indian driver missed the apex and stayed behind.
The Safety Car was then deployed after Tairoku Yamaguchi beached his car in the gravel trap.
Miyata Pressures Oyu
When the race restarted, Oyu immediately got the jump on Miyata and developed a small lead.
Meanwhile, Ahmed defended fourth place from Kotaka into Turn 1, which forced the Team TOM’s wide into Turn 2. This allowed Yoshiaki Katayama the chance to move up to fifth, but Kokata was able to close the door.
As the field settled down, Miyata pursued after Oyu, while Fenestraz hovered behind along the pit straight. Despite his best efforts, Oyu put on a great defensive display to keep Miyata at bay.
As the two fought over the lead, Fenestraz and Ahmed had caught up to them and created a four-car train.
However, as the battle started to heat up, the Safety Car made a second appearance after Ryuji ‘Dragon’ Kumita spun off at Turn 3.
On the restart, Oyu once again got the jump on Miyata and led comfortably into Turn 1. Meanwhile, Fenestraz was in third and Ahmed successfully defend fourth place from Kokata.
At the start of the final lap, Miyata went for one last attempt into Turn 1 and snatch the win. Oyu though, was alert and quickly cut across to maintain the racing line.
The Honda academy driver then held on to claim his first win of the season.
Miyata had to settle for second place, with Fenestraz third and Ahmed claiming a well-earned fourth place.
Kotaka held on for fifth, while Katayama claimed the final championship point in sixth.
Miyata Closes On Fenestraz in Title Race
After failing to win all weekend, Sacha Fenestraz has seen his lead in the Drivers’ Championship been reduced to 19 points.
Victory for Ritomo Miyata in Race One means that the Japanese driver has 64 points to Fenestraz’s 83.
Further back, Toshiki Oyu’s win helps him stay third with 41 points, while Enaam Ahmed moves up to fourth, ahead of Yoshaiki Katayama.
In the Masters Class, Tairoku Yamaguchi retains his 18 point lead of Ryuji ‘Dragon’ Kumita, after both drivers failed to finish.
Consequently, Katsuaki Kubota has closed the gap in third place, but is still 31 points adrift of Yamaguchi.
2019 Japanese F3 Championship: Drivers’ Standing after Ten Races:
|Pos.||Driver (Nationality), Team||Points|
|1||Sacha Fenestraz (FRA), B-Max Racing with Motopark||83 Points|
|2||Ritomo Miyata (JPN), Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’s||64 Pts|
|3||Toshiki Oyu (JPN), Toda Racing||41 Pts|
|4||Enaam Ahmed (GBR), B-Max Racing with Motopark||26 Pts|
|5||Yoshiaki Katayama (JPN), ORIC Team YTB by Carlin||24 Pts|
|6||Kazuko Kotaka (JPN), Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’s||21 Pts|
|7||Hiroki Otsu (JPN), ThreeBond Racing||13 Pts|
|8||Sena Sakaguchi (JPN), Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’s||10 Pts|
|9||Shunsuke Kohno (JPN), RS Fine||8 Pts|
|10||Charles Milesi (FRA), ORIC Team YTB by Carlin||8 Pts|
|11||Ameya Vaidyanathan (IND), B-Max Racing with Motopark||0 Pts|
|12||Ai Miura (JPN), ThreeBond Racing||0 Pts|
|2019 Japanese F3 Masters Class|
|1||Tairoku Yamaguchi (JPN), Tairoku Racing||76 Points|
|2||Ryuji ‘Dragon’ Kumita (JPN), B-Max Racing with Motopark||54 Pts|
|3||Katsuaki Kubota (JPN), Hanashima Racing||45 Pts|