Asian Motorsport reviews the action at Autopolis as Tadusuke Makino achieved his debut win in Super Formula.

By Marco Albertini

Ayumu Iwasa, in his second Super Formula start, took pole ahead of Makino and Naoki Yamamoto. However, the Red Bull junior didn’t have as good of a getaway at the start, as Makino immediately took the lead and didn’t look back.

Iwasa fell to third, getting overtaken by Yamamoto and almost lost another position to Sena Sakaguchi.

Around Lap 10, Yamamoto led a group of cars into the pits. Drivers had to choose whether to pit early to gain time on the leaders, or pit at the halfway point and make up time at the end, when the early stoppers would lose their tire advantage.

The latter ultimately proved to be the best strategy, as Makino pitted on Lap 35, came out barely ahead of Yamamoto, and began to extend his lead as the drivers around him began to struggle.

Iwasa, who had been overtaken by the Nakajima Racing car of Yamamoto, buzzed past the Utsunomiya native with eight laps to go. The TOM’S of Sho Tsuboi overtook Yamamoto not long afterwards.

Further down the grid, a battle for 12th was heating up between TGM’s Nobuharu Matsushita, TOM’S Ukyo Sasahara, and Impul’s Yuji Kunimoto. The TGM locked up at the hairpin trying to keep the latter two behind.

At the same time, Kunimoto had attempted an overtake on the TOM’S with a move that didn’t go well, resulting in contact and a broken wing for the Impul.

Up front, Makino won his first Super Formula race ahead of Iwasa and Tsuboi, with Yamamoto and Ohta closing off the top five.

CLA DRIVER TEAM # LAPS TIME INTERVAL POINTS
1 T. Makino DANDELION RACING 5 41 1:03’37.202 20
2 A. Iwasa TEAM MUGEN 15 41 5.565 5.565 15
1:03’42.767
3 S. Tsuboi VANTELIN TEAM TOM’S 36 41 8.978 3.413 11
1:03’46.180
4 N. Yamamoto PONOS NAKAJIMA RACING 64 41 25.812 16.834 8
1:04’03.014
5 K. Ohta DANDELION RACING 6 41 26.311 0.499 6
1:04’03.513
6 S. Sakaguchi VERTEX PARTNERS CERUMO – INGING 38 41 28.385 2.074 5
1:04’05.587
7 K. Yamashita KONDO RACING 3 41 29.385 1 4
1:04’06.587
8 N. Fukuzumi TEAM KCMG 8 41 30.041 0.656 3
1:04’07.243
9 T. Nojiri TEAM MUGEN 16 41 30.286 0.245 2
1:04’07.488
10 K. Kobayashi TEAM KCMG 7 41 31.419 1.133 1
1:04’08.621
11 K. Oshima DOCOMO BUSINESS ROOKIE 14 41 34.196 2.777
1:04’11.398
12 U. Sasahara VANTELIN TEAM TOM’S 37 41 39.614 5.418
1:04’16.816
13 B. Barnicoat ITOCHU ENEX TEAM IMPUL 19 41 41.783 2.169
1:04’18.985
14 I. Kimura SAN-EI GEN WITH B-MAX 50 41 43.305 1.522
1:04’20.507
15 T. Oyu VERTEX PARTNERS CERUMO – INGING 39 41 43.907 0.602
1:04’21.109
16 N. Matsushita TGM GRAND PRIX 55 41 +1’09.922 26.015
1:04’47.124
17 A. Miyake THREEBOND RACING 12 41 +1’20.128 10.206
1:04’57.330
18 K. Kotaka KONDO RACING 4 41 +1’33.035 12.907
1:05’10.237
19 Y. Kunimoto ITOCHU ENEX TEAM IMPUL 20 40 +1 Lap 1 Lap
1:03’12.509
20 J. Noda TGM GRAND PRIX 53 40 +1 Lap 1’16.580
1:04’29.089
dnf R. Sato PONOS NAKAJIMA RACING 65 11 +30 Laps 29 Laps
17’25.678

Header photo credit: Super Formula

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