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Ukyo Sasahara (TEAM MUGEN) takes his 2nd win of the season!


Ukyo Sasahara (TEAM MUGEN) takes his 2nd win of the season!
Tomoki Nojiri (TEAM MUGEN) finishes in 2nd place to win the Driver’s Championship for the second year in a row!
TEAM MUGEN wins the Team Championship for the first time, achieving the 2022 W-title!

Round 9 of the 2022 Japanese Super Formula Championship was held on Saturday, October 29th at Suzuka Circuit in Mie Prefecture with Ukyo Sasahara (TEAM MUGEN) taking his second win of the season.

The Saturday at Suzuka Circuit was a pleasant and clear autumn day with air temperatures of around 17 degrees Celsius and track surface temperatures of 24℃. The Qualifying sessions to decide the starting grid position for the Rd9 afternoon race of the doubleheader weekend took place in the early hours of the morning.

Presently ranking 2nd place in the Championship, Sascha Fenestraz (KONDO RACING), who is aiming for an upset in the Championship, finishes 9th in Q1 Group A, and has no choice but to start Rd9 from the 17th position on the grid, a tough position to start from when fighting for the championship.

Ryo Hirakawa (CARENEX TEAM IMPUL), another driver aiming to grab the Championship qualifies in 3rd position in Q1 Group B. Tomoki Nojiri (TEAM MUGEN), the present top-ranked driver, qualifies in 4th position in Q1 B. The Q2 qualifying session begins under much pressure and a tense atmosphere. Tomoki Nojiri is able to dominate the other drivers and takes his 5th pole position this season, making a big step forward towards achieving the championship win. Ryo Hirakawa, on the other hand, has a tough grid position, finishing 11th. Ritomo Miyata (Kuo VANTELIN TEAM TOM’S) qualifies in 2nd and Toshiki Oyu (TCS NAKAJIMA RACING) in 3rd position on the grid. Both championship contenders Hirakawa and Fesnestraz, start the race from 11th and 17th position respectively, a tough position to start from when you are aiming for the championship and there are only two races left.

At 14:30, the 31 lap (180.01km) Rd9 race kicks off under clear skies and warm temperatures. At the start, Miyata gets off to a slow start and drops to 4th position, while Ukyo Sasahara (TEAM MUGEN), who started 5th, moves up to 3rd. Sasahara overtakes Oyu on the 4th lap, and moves up to 2nd position. This puts TEAM MUGEN in a one-two formation in the race. On the 10th lap, when the pit window opened for tire change, Sasahara, who was quicker, pits in for a tire change. On the 11th lap, Nojiri, who was leading the race, also makes a pit stop. Miyata, who had stayed on the race course until lap 25, pits in but has troubles during the pit stop and drops to 7th position. Hirakawa too has extended his pit stop to 4 laps to go, but is unable to finish higher up and ends the race in 9th place.

As a result, Sasahara and Nojiri ran away with the race, and TEAM MUGEN finishes one-two. 2nd place in the race Nojiri wins his 2nd consecutive Drivers’ Title, while 3rd place goes to rookie driver Ren Sato (TEAM GOH), who finishes on the podium for the first time.
TEAM MUGEN wins the 2022 Team Title for the first time since 2010 when the team first joined the Super Formula championship.
Ukyo Sasahara’s victory becomes his second in total since the Rd6 of this season.
Round 10 will be held tomorrow, October 30 (Sun.), also at Suzuka Circuit, with qualifying and the race to follow.



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