Super Formula: Sekiguchi takes Sportsland SUGO victory

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Source: SuperFormula.net

Yuhi Sekiguchi (Itochu Enex Team Implu) claimed his second win of the season, with Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen) and Kazuki Nakajima (Vantelin Team Tom’s) within 1.1 seconds at the finish line.

At the start, pole sitter Nick Cassidy (Kondō Racing) had a sluggish and dropped down to fifth, allowing Sekiguchi and Gasly to go wheel to wheel into Turn 1 for the lead, with the Japanese driver coming out on top.

In the early stages, Gasly was close to Sekiguchi before the race leader began to gradually pull away.

Third placed André Lotterer (Vantelin Team Tom’s) was the first of the front runners to make a fuel stop on Lap 11.

The German used his overtake system to help him re-join in fourth, which subsequently led to him receiving a driver through penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

Cassidy’s chances of salvaging some points following his slow start were also dented from a drive through penalty, but this for violating a starting procedure.

On lap 31, championship leader Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU/CERUMO・INGING) made what could turn to be a vital pass on Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) for sixth place, with the latter attempting to finish the race without making a stop for fuel.

Back at the front, Sekiguchi pitted on Lap 42 as he approached the lapped traffic, handing the lead over to Gasly, with Nakajima in close pursuit.

The Frenchman made his fuel stop on Lap 58, and returned to the track in second behind Sekiguchi.

Two laps later, Nakajima pulled into the pits for a top up of fuel and re-joined in third behind Sekiguchi and Gasly.

Sekiguchi then spent the closing laps holding off the resilient Gasly to win at Sportsland SUGO for the second time in as many years by two tenths of a second, with Nakajima close behind in third.

Defending champion Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU/CERUMO・INGING) claimed fourth whilst Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team Le Mans) held off Ishiura for fifth and Kobayashi utilising his strategy to finish in seventh.

Takuya Izawa (Docomo Team Dandelion Racing) and Jann Mardenborough (Itochu Enex Team Implu) managed to finish in the points as well, ahead of Lotterer in tenth.

Gasly’s second place finish means he has cut down Ishiura’s championship lead down to just half a point, ahead of next month season finale at Suzuka.

Furthermore, with sixteen points available from the final two races, this means that the top six drivers in the championship all have a mathematical chance of taking the drivers’ title in October.

Pos. Car No. Team (Nationality), Team (Engine) Laps Time/Reason for Retirement
1 19 Yuhi Sekiguchi (JPN), Itochu Enex Team Implu (Toyota) 68 1:19:00.439
2 15 Pierre Gasly (FRA), Team Mugen (Honda) 68 +0.243
3 37 Kazuki Nakajima (JPN), Vantelin Team Tom’s (Toyota) 68 +1.174
4 1 Yuji Kunimoto (JPN), P.MU/CERUMO・INGING (Toyota) 68 +6.754
5 7 Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), SUNOCO Team Le Mans (Toyota) 68 +11.472
6 2 Hiroaki Ishiura (JPN), P.MU/CERUMO・INGING (Toyota) 68 +12.646
7 18 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN), KCMG (Toyota) 68 +19.452
8 41 Takuya Izawa (JPN), Docomo Team Dandelion Racing (Honda) 68 +20.741
9 20 Jann Mardenborough (GBR), Itochu Enex Team Implu (Toyota) 68 +21.459
10 36 André Lotterer (GER), Vantelin Team Tom’s (Toyota) 68 +28.971
11 4 Kenta Yamashita (JPN), Kondō Racing (Toyota) 68 +36.694
12 40 Tomoki Nojiri (JPN), Docomo Team Dandelion Racing (Honda) 68 +41.210
13 65 Narain Karthikeyan (IND), TCS Nakajima Racing (Honda) 68 +44.600
14 50 Takashi Kogure (JPN), B-Max Racing Team (Honda) 67 +1 Lap
15 8 Kazuya Oshima (JPN), SUNOCO Team Le Mans (Toyota) 67 +1 Lap
16 10 Koudai Tsukakoshi (JPN), Real Racing (Honda) 67 +1 Lap
17 64 Daisuke Nakajima (JPN), TCS Nakajima Racing (Honda) 67 +1 Lap
18 16 Naoki Yamamoto (JPN), Team Mugen (Honda) 66 +2 Laps
19 3 Nick Cassidy (NZL), Kondō Racing (Toyota) 65 +3 Laps
Fastest Lap: 2 Hiroaki Ishiura (JPN), P.MU/CERUMO・INGING (Toyota), 1:07.697

 

2017 Super Formula Championship Drivers’ Standings after Round Six:

Pos. Car No. Driver (Nationality), Team (Engine) Points
1 2 Hiroaki Ishiura (JPN), P.MU/CERUMO・INGING (Toyota) 33.5
2 15 Pierre Gasly (FRA), Team Mugen (Honda) 33
3 7 Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), SUNOCO Team Le Mans (Toyota) 28.5
4 19 Yuhi Sekiguchi (JPN), Itochu Enex Team Implu (Toyota) 25
5 37 Kazuki Nakajima (JPN), Vantelin Team Tom’s (Toyota) 22
6 36 André Lotterer (GER), Vantelin Team Tom’s (Toyota) 20
7 18 Kamui Kobayashi (JPN), KCMG (Toyota) 16.5
8 1 Yuji Kunimoto (JPN), P.MU/CERUMO・INGING (Toyota) 16
9 16 Naoki Yamamoto (JPN), Team Mugen (Honda) 10.5
10 3 Nick Cassidy (NZL), Kondō Racing (Toyota) 8
11 4 Kenta Yamashita (JPN), Kondō Racing (Toyota) 6.5
12 8 Kazuya Oshima (JPN), SUNOCO Team Le Mans (Toyota) 6
13 41 Takuya Izawa (JPN), Docomo Team Dandelion Racing (Honda) 5
14 20 Jann Mardenborough (GBR), Itochu Enex Team Implu (Toyota) 3.5
15 10 Koudai Tsukakoshi (JPN), Real Racing (Honda) 3
16 64 Daisuke Nakajima (JPN), TCS Nakajima Racing (Honda) 2
17 40 Tomoki Nojiri (JPN), Docomo Team Dandelion Racing (Honda) 2

 

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