Naoki Yamamoto converts pole position into a victory at Suzuka
Team Mugen’s Naoki Yamamoto opened the 2018 Japanese Super Formula Championship with a victory at Suzuka Circuit. For the 2013 Super Formula champion it is his fourth Super Formula victory in a career, he achieved all four at Suzuka.
In Sunday’s race, Yamamoto started from pole in the #16 Honda, converting the best starting position into victory. Team Impul’s Yuhi Sekiguchi in the #19 Toyota made a fantastic progress from P14 on the starting grid to the second place at the end of the race, just 1.720 seconds behind Yamamoto. Docomo Dandelion’s Tomoki Nojiri in the #5 Honda completed a podium. He started from P3 and finished third.
The biggest surprise in qualifying was a rookie Nirei Fukuzumi. Honda junior and Team Mugen’s driver was the second fastest in the #15 Honda. He was in a podium fight during the race but he was forced to retire shortly after a pit stop.
Defending champion Hiroaki Ishiura finished in the fourth place in the #1 Toyota. Other point-scorers are Takuya Izawa (Nakajima Racing Honda), Koudai Tsukakoshi (Real Racing Honda), Nick Cassidy (Kondo Racing Toyota) and Kazuki Nakajima (Team Tom’s Toyota).
Photos: Super Formula,