June 12 2016 Round.8 Suzuka

Takaboshi takes back-to-back victories after biding his time in slippery conditions
F3-N: Hirota picks up his second win with a solid run

Mitsunori Takaboshi/B-MAX NDDP F3

Japanese Formula 3 Round 8 Start

Skies were overcast at Suzuka in the early morning of Rd 8 race on Sunday June 12th. The weather forecast said it was going to rain in the evening, but light rain started in the morning and the track became damp conditions – slightly wet, especially on the West circuit side. When the sighting lap started at 1:15 pm Ai Miura (in EXEDY B-MAX F312) went out on the track on wet tyres but immediately returned to pit for slicks.
An incident happened on the sighting lap. The second qualifier Sho Tsuboi suffered an engine issue probably due to a problem with a fuel pump. Despite all the efforts by the TOM’S team crews his ZENT TOM’S F314 didn’t recover, forcing him into retirement. As such the starting grid would see all the cars on slick tyres with a vacancy in the front row.
At the start of the race Kenta Yamashita (ZENT TOM’S F312) got a good start from pole position, while Mitsunori Takaboshi smoothly slid his B-MAX NDDP F3 into the vacant front row spot ahead of third starter Katsumasa Chiyo (B-MAX NDDP F3). Yann Mardenborough (B-MAX NDDP F3) got a slightly late start, having started fourth.

■ Takaboshi capitalises on his rival’s mistake to grab the lead

Mitsunori Takaboshi/B-MAX NDDP F3

A three-way hassle for second spot among the B-MAX Racing team with NDDP’s drivers had a change in its order as early as on the opening lap in which Takaboshi was “too careful in negotiating the wet Spoon”, allowing Chiyo to overtake him at the 130R.
The trio of Chiyo, Takaboshi and Mardenborough would closely catch Yamashita thereafter in this order just within five tenths of each other, even though the race leader was trying to pull away as he did in Rd 7 race, the gap being whittled with strong pace the B-MAX showed on the West circuit side despite a bit better pace Yamashita set on the East circuit side.
It was on lap nine that this tense situation changed when the second place Chiyo slightly lagged behind after struggling to get up to speed out of the hairpin, allowing Takaboshi to quickly reduce the gap to dart past him at the 130R. “Actually I was biding my time,” said Takaboshi. Chiyo would also be overtaken by Mardenborough on the straight on lap 11.
Taking the advantage of this momentum Takaboshi closed in on Yamashita and capitalised on a mistake his rival made at the second turn of the Degner on lap 11 to take the initiative. This left Yamashita to confront charging Mardenborough and Chiyo in a situation where he couldn’t afford to lose any more positions.

Keishi Ishikawa(TODA FIGHTEX)

Mardenborough challenged Yamashita from the outside, unlike in the Rd 7 race, at the Hitachi Automotive Systems Chicane on lap 12 but both stayed cool lest they should have a contact like they did in the previous round.
With Takaboshi, Yamashita and Mardenborough going closely into the final lap Mardenborough closed in on Yamashita from the outside again, but the order remained unchanged leaving Takaboshi to take the chequered flag at the front ahead of Yamashita and Mardenborough with Chiyo in a distant fourth place.
Keishi Ishikawa (TODA FIGHTEX) broke away from a pack of two Toda’s and two HFDP’s to finish fifth place, and Sena Sakaguchi (HFDP RACING F312) took sixth place from Tadasuke Makino (TODA FIGHTEX).

■ Hirota escapes away on the opening lap to a second consecutive win

Kizuku Hirota/Albirex F306TLM

Meanwhile in F3-N the Rd 7 winner Kizuku Hirota (Albirex F306TLM) took the lead from Yoshiaki Katayama (Petit LM Racing) and DRAGON (B-Max Racing team F306) on the opening lap. Katayama would also lose out to Zene Okazaki (Glocal Albi TLM) on lap four and then DRAGON on lap five.
Okazaki dropped down the order in the closing stages allowing DRAGON to move up to second place and Katayama to regain the lost ground from him on lap 16, while Hirota was never threatened by the fracas over second position behind to conclude a solid run over the entire 17 laps with his second consecutive win and raise his fist in triumph. Second was DRAGON and third was Katayama.

Result & Entry List PDF