Naoki Yamamoto is the Super Formula champion for 2018
Naoki Yamamoto is the Japanese Super Formula champion for 2018! The 30-year-old driver of Team Mugen’s #16 Dallara-Honda has won the season’s finale at Suzuka Circuit and clinched his second Super Formula title in a career. Previously, he was a champion in 2013.
Yamamoto came to Suzuka as the third-placed driver in the championship, behind Nick Cassidy (Kondo Racing Toyota) and Hiroaki Ishiura (P.mu/cerumo Inging Toyota), but a superb performance in the qualifying and the race brought him a maximum of fourteen points.
Nick Cassidy finished second in the 43-lap race. picking up eight points and staying short by one point in the championship race. Even if they were tied in the points, Yamamoto would be a champion because he won three races in 2018 against one victory of Cassidy.
Ryo Hirakawa (Team Impul Toyota) was close to finishing in the third place but a right-rear puncture ruined his race and promoted Kondo Racing’s Kenta Yamashita to the last podium spot. The championship contender Hiroaki Ishiura started the race from P11 and finished in the same position.
Naoki Yamamoto is also the leader in the Super GT Series, together with Jenson Button. If he took the title in the season’s finale at Motegi on November 10-11, he would be the first Japanese double champion since Richard Lyons in 2004.
Photos: Super Formula,