Sascha Fenestraz (KONDO RACING) takes his first much longer-for-win!
The Round 5 race for the 2022 Japanese Super Formula Championship was held at Sportsland SUGO in Miyagi Prefecture on Sunday, June 19, with Sascha Fenestraz (KONDO RACING) taking his very first win at the Japanese Super Formula Championship and KONDO RACING’s taking their first win since 2019!
The 53 laps (approx. 190km) race at Sugo – 3.586km track started at 2:30 p.m., and was held under air temperatures of 30 degrees and track surface temperatures of 43 degrees Celsius.
Right at the start, Sascha Fenestraz (KONDO RACING) in the second position on the grid, took advantage of the pole position Tomoki Nojiri’s (TEAM MUGEN) lack of acceleration at the first corner, to take the lead.
Behind Sacha, teammate Kenta Yamashita (KONDO RACING) had a slight collision with another car and went off the course on the inside of the first corner. The Safety Car (SC) entered the track. Then again, on Lap 8, just after the race restart, Nobuharu Matsushita (B-Max Racing Team) did a solo spun-off at the 1st Corner. Still, under SC, once the pit stop window opened – at lap 10, the top four cars immediately pitted in for the mandatory tire change pit stop. During this tire change operations’ pit stop, Toshiki Oyu (TCS NAKAJIMA RACING) overtook Nojiri.
When the race restarted after 14 laps, Ritomo Miyata (Kuo VANTELIN TEAM TOM’S), who did not pit-in and therefore missed the tire change timing, was now in the (apparent) lead. Miyata then started to pull away from the actual leader, Fenestraz, by about 1 second per lap building up a margin of nearly 30 seconds. However, the race was soon switched to a time count-down race, Miyata, who had delayed his tire change until the last minute, was unable to make it back to the course in a higher position after pit stop and finished the race in 6th place.
The race, which ended up being a one-hour race, was completed after 49 laps. Sascha Fenestraz grabbed his very first win, with Toshiki Oyu in 2nd, Tomoki Nojiri in 3rd, and Ryo Hirakawa (carenex TEAM IMPUL), who finished 2nd in the ranking, did a great jump up finishing 7th after having started the race from 16th on the grid.
The next round, Round 6, will be held at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture on July 16 (Sat) and 17 (Sun).