by Marco Albertini

Michael Sauter wins race one despite a clash with Jesse Lacey

Race one of the third round of the 2024 Formula Regional Japan season was held at 13:00 local time on saturday.

Michael Sauter started on pole but soon lost the lead to Jesse Lacey, who led the field in the first laps.

The first half of the race proved to be a quiet one, only being interrupted by the spin of PONOS Racing’s Yorikatsu Tsujiko, who got stuck in the gravel and was unable to get it out, causing the Safety car to be called out on track.

On the restart, Sauter continued his attack on Lacey, which ended up in disaster for the Aussie, as they collided before the first corner, dropping Lacey to the back and Sauter to second, behind Yoshiaki Nakamura.

Nakamura’s stint in the lead wouldn’t last long as Sauter would pass him in the closing stages, taking the lead and ultimately winning the race in convincing fashion, ahead of the TOM’S Formula driver and Fuma Horio.

In the masters class, Yugo held on to win the race as the aforementioned Tsujiko wasn’t able to continue the race.

Race one results

  1. Michael Sauter (CHE) – Birth Racing Project
  2. Yoshiaki Nakamura (JPN) – TOM’S Formula +06.685
  3. Fuma Horio (JPN) – Sutekina Racing Team +07.387
  4. Sebastian Manson (NZL) – Birth Racing Project +07.765
  5. Anna Inotsume (JPN) – HELM Motorsport +22.992
  6. Jesse Lacey (AUS) – Bionic Jack Racing +52.043
  7. “YUGO” (JPN) – N-SPEED +1 lap
  8. Yorikatsu Tsujiko (JPN) –PONOS Racing – Retired

Lacey achieves maiden FRJC win as Sauter is penalized for jumping the start

Race two of the third round of the 2024 Formula Regional Japan season was held at 9:15 local time on sunday.

The wet race saw Sauter start on pole and keep the lead at the start, as behind him Yoshiaki Nakamura and Jesse Lacey exchanged positions, ending up in the Aussie maintaining second place by the end of the first lap.

Lacey, who had lost time in the first lap, began setting fastest lap after fastest lap, keeping himself within five seconds of race leader Sauter, who was given a penalty for jumping the start.

In the end, Jesse Lacey inherited the win from Michael Sauter who dropped to second with his penalty, ahead of Birth Racing Project teammate Sebastian Manson.

In the masters class, Yorikatsu Tsujiko won with a comfortable gap over “YUGO”.

Race two results

  1. Jesse Lacey (AUS) – Bionic Jack Racing
  2. Michael Sauter (CHE) – Birth Racing Project +05.185
  3. Sebastian Manson (NZL) – Birth Racing Project +50.121
  4. Yoshiaki Nakamura (JPN) – TOM’S Formula +1 lap
  5. Yorikatsu Tsujiko (JPN) – PONOS Racing +1 lap
  6. Anna Inotsume (JPN) – HELM Motorsport +1 lap
  7. “YUGO” (JPN) – N-SPEED +3 laps
  8. Fuma Horio (JPN) – Sutekina Racing Team – DNS

Sauter wins race three as Lacey is penalized for jumping the start

Race three of the third round of the 2024 Formula Regional Japan season was held at 13:35 local time on sunday.

The conditions were damp and once again, Michael Sauter was on pole, but would soon be overtaken by Bionic Jack Racing’s Jesse Lacey in the first lap.

Behind them, a battle raged on for third between Fuma Horio and Sebastian Manson, that saw the Kiwi overtake Horio for third place.

Around the mid-way part of the race, Jesse Lacey was given a ten second penalty for jumping the start, putting his first place at risk, as Sauter was gaining time on the Aussie.

Lacey’s hopes would soon come to a crushing disappointment, as in the last stages, Fuma Horio went off, causing a safety car to come out, which would end the race as rain started to fall on the track.

Sauter inherited the win from Lacey, who dropped to fifth place, Manson finished second and Yorikatsu Tsujiko achieved his maiden podium following a penalty given to HELM Motorsports’ Anna Inotsume for overtaking under the safety car.

In the masters class, Yorikatsu Tsujiko took his second win in his class of the season, ahead of “YUGO”, convincingly beating the N-SPEED driver.

Race three results

  1. Michael Sauter (CHE) – Birth Racing Project 
  2. Sebastian Manson (NZL) – Birth Racing Project +01.158
  3. Yorikatsu Tsujiko (JPN) – PONOS Racing +3.244
  4. Jesse Lacey (AUS) – Bionic Jack Racing +10.420
  5. Anna Inotsume (JPN) – HELM Motorsport +32.090
  6. “YUGO” (JPN) – N-SPEED +2 laps
  7. Fuma Horio (JPN) – Sutekina Racing Team – Retired
  8. Yoshiaki Nakamura (JPN) – TOM’S Formula – DNS

Formula Regional Japan overall drivers’ championship

  1. Michael Sauter (Birth Racing Project) – 151
  2. Sebastian Manson (Birth Racing Project) – 98
  3. Jesse Lacey (Bionic Jack Racing) – 89
  4. Yoshiaki Nakamura (TOM’S Formula) – 74
  5. Fuma Horio (Sutekina Racing Team) – 65
  6. Jiei Okuzumi (Sutekina Racing Team) – 61
  7. Anna Inotsume (HELM Motorsports) – 58
  8. Yorikatsu Tsujiko (PONOS Racing) – 39
  9. “Yugo” (N-SPEED) – 33
  10. “Motoki” (Rn-sports) – 26
  11. Kizuku Hirota (Bionic Jack Racing) – 25
  12. Alfie Briggs (Bionic Jack Racing) – 24
  13. “Akita” (Abbey Racing) – 16
  14. Wang Zhongwei (Sky Motorsports) – 14
  15. Juancho Brobio (Eagle Sports) – 2

Formula Regional Japan masters’ championship

  1. “Yugo” (N-Speed) – 150
  2. Yorikatsu Tsujiko (PONOS Racing) – 101
  3. “Motoki” (Rn-sports) – 68
  4. “Akita” (Abbey Racing) – 52

Formula Regional Japan teams’ championship

  1. Birth Racing Project – 154
  2. Sutekina Racing Team – 126
  3. Bionic Jack Racing – 108
  4. TOM’S Formula – 74
  5. HELM Motorsports – 58
  6. PONOS Racing – 39
  7. N-Speed – 33
  8. Rn-sports – 26
  9. Abbey Racing – 16
  10. Sky Motorsports – 14
  11. Eagle Sports – 2

Header image credit: Formula Regional Japanese Championship

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