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  • Tomoki Nojiri takes his second win of the season, his 8th win in total, and finishes the season with a pole-to-win!

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Tomoki Nojiri takes his second win of the season, his 8th win in total, and finishes the season with a pole-to-win!

2022年10月30日

Tomoki Nojiri takes his second win of the season, his 8th win in total, and finishes the season with a pole-to-win!

The 10th round of the 2022 Japanese Super Formula Championship, the 21st JAF Suzuka Grand Prix, was held on October 30 (Sun) at Suzuka Circuit in Mie Prefecture, with Tomoki Nojiri (TEAM MUGEN) taking his second win of the season and his 8th win in total, going pole-to-win.

With temperatures of 17 ℃ and track surface temperatures of 20 ℃, the day at Suzuka Circuit turned out to be mild, albeit with slightly more clouds than yesterday. In the morning, qualifying sessions were held for the afternoon race. Rookie of the Year contender Ren Sato (TEAM GOH) was just short of making it through Q1, finishing 7th in Q1A. In Q2, Tomoki Nojiri (TEAM MUGEN), who also took the pole position the previous day, showed his speed to take his second consecutive pole position. The runner-up position on the grid went to Ritomo Miyata (Kuo VANTELIN TEAM TOM’S), and Hiroki Otsu (DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION RACING) took the third position on the grid.
This was Nojiri’s 13th pole position, tying him with Naoki Yamamoto (TCS NAKAJIMA RACING) for the most in his career. Miyake, who was aiming for the Rookie of the Year title with a 7-point lead, started from 14th on the grid.

At 14:30, the final race of the season kicks off, covering 31 laps (180.017 km) of the circuit. At the race start, Miyata gets off to a slow start, as he did yesterday, and drops to 4th position. At the first corner, Nirei Fukuzumi (ThreeBond Drago CORSE) fails to stop and goes off track. The Safety Car is deployed.
At the end of the second lap, Ukyo Sasahara (TEAM MUGEN), who was up to 3rd position, fails to restart and drops to 5th. Ren Sato (TEAM GOH), who was aiming for the Rookie of the Year title, spins off at the chicane curve just before the restart. He returns to the race however in the last position. Sascha Fenestraz (KONDO RACING) and Ryo Hirakawa (CARENEX TEAM IMPUL), who are battling for 2nd place in the ranking, are engaged in a great and fierce battle right from the beginning of the race.

Rookie of the Year(TEAM GOH)

When the pit window opens on lap 10, Otsu, who was running in 2nd position, makes an early pit stop on the 12th lap and goes for an undercut strategy to close the gap to Nojiri. However, on Lap 12, Nobuharu Matsushita (B-Max Racing Team) goes off course at the chicane. This is when the Safety Car is brought in for the second time. The teams take advantage of this timing and Nojiri, Hirakawa, and the others pit in. Nojiri succeeds in pitting out in front of Otsu.
After the restart on lap 18, Miyake drops one position to 9th, making it difficult for him to overtake Sato.
As a result, Nojiri wins the race with a pole-to-win, as he had previously stated he wanted to win the race at an overwhelmingly unbeatable driving pace, and so he did. Hiroki Otsu finished 2nd and Ritomo Miyata in the 3rd position.
In the battle for second place in the ranking, Fenestraz and Hirakawa finished 4th and 5th, respectively, with Fenestraz in the lead. Miyake finished in 8th place but is unable to score any points, and the Rookie of the Year Award goes to Ren Sato.
With the conclusion of this race, the 2022 season has come to a close. The 7th CN Development Test will be held next month at Mobility Resort Motegi on November 21 (Mon.) and 22 (Tue.), and a joint test and rookie drivers’ test will be held at Suzuka Circuit on December 7 (Wed.) and 8 (Thu.).

Japanese Super Formula Championship 2022
Driver’s Championship:
Tomoki Nojiri (TEAM MUGEN) Champion for the last two consecutive years
Team Championship: First Team Champion’s title for TEAM MUGEN
Rookie of the Year: Ren Sato (TEAM GOH)

Race P.1 Tomoki Nojiri(TEAM MUGEN)

Race P.2 Hiroki Nojiri(DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION RACING)

Race P.3 Ritomo Miyata(Kuo VANTELIN TEAM TOM’S)

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