Maiden Super Formula victory for Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen) scores his maiden victory in the 2017 Japanese Super Formula Championship in the fifth round today at Twin Ring Motegi. Gasly is the fifth different winner in five races.
Red Bull protege Pierre Gasly and 2016 GP2 Series champion claimed his first win in Japan thanks to pit stop problems of his main rival Kamui Kobayashi. A driver of the #18 KCMG Toyota pitted on lap 34 from the first place but lost nearly half-a-minute because of a problem with the right-rear tyre. Kobayashi’s problems promoted Gasly to P1, with 15-second advantage. The 21-year-old Frenchman easily defended his lead to score victory.
Gasly started fourth on the grid, behind Kenta Yamashita, Kamui Kobayashi and Tomoki Nojiri. Kobayashi had the best start, jumping to P1 ahead of Nojiri and Yamashita. Gasly stayed on P4, progressing to P2 after a pit stop on lap 27.
Felix Rosenqvist, who was one of the late stoppers, crossed the finishing line in third place to score his second podium of the season. He fends off championship leader Hiroaki Ishiura, who remains in the lead after five races with 25.5 points on his account. Andre Lotterer, who finished seventh today, lies in the second place with 20 points.
The next championship round is scheduled for September10 at Autopolis.