Photo Credit: Super Formula
Ryo Hirakawa reined supreme in the first day of Super Formula pre-season testing at Fuji Speedway, topping both the morning and afternoon sessions.
The morning session was disrupted by two red flags in the opening 20 minutes. This first of which was caused by Super Formula rookie Tatiana Calderon, who spun on her out lap at turn 10 after suffering throttle issues.
The second was caused by Kamui Kobayashi, who lost control of his car exiting turn 2. The damaged incurred would leave him on the sidelines for the remainder of the session.
Once the session resumed, Nirei Fukuzumi set the early pace with a 1m22.675. This time stood atop the timesheets until it was eclipsed by team-mate Naoki Yamamoto later in the session.
Yamamoto and Hirakawa began exchanging positions at the top of the leaderboard throughout the session. That was until the final moments, when Hirakawa posted a 1m21.342, putting him marginally ahead of Tadasuke Makino, and would ultimately prove to be the sessions best time.
Nick Cassidy was 14th-fastest in the TOM’s car, 1.484 seconds off the pace.
Hirakawa set the early pace in the afternoon session with a 1m21.103, being the first driver to improve on the benchmark set in the morning session.
The session was briefly led by Fukuzumi and Super Formula rookie Toshiki Oyu. Both drivers went under the 1m 21 second bracket for the first time that day. Hirakawa eventually eclipsed both of them to post a 1m20.677.
Cassidy opted not to put new tyres on for the final part of the session. He would finish the day 17th-fastest, 1.540 seconds off the pace.
There are two more session remaining for Super Formula at Fuji on Wednesday. The season is scheduled to begin at Autopolis on May 17, but is likely to be postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has already resulted in the postponement of the first two rounds at Suzuka and Fuji.
Afternoon session times
|1||20||Ryo Hirakawa||Itochu Enex Team Impul||1m20.677|
|2||6||Nirei Fukuzumi||DoCoMo Team Dandelion Racing||1m20.694|
|3||65||Toshiki Oyu||TCS Nakajima Racing||1m20.713|
|4||5||Naoki Yamamoto||DoCoMo Team Dandelion Racing||1m20.720|
|5||16||Tomoki Nojiri||Team Mugen||1m20.942|
|6||36||Kazuki Nakajima||Vantelin Team TOM’S||1m21.114|
|7||15||Juri Vips||Team Mugen||1m21.125|
|8||64||Tadasuke Makino||TCS Nakajima Racing||1m21.243|
|9||19||Yuhi Sekiguchi||Itochu Enex Team Impul||1m21.274|
|10||4||Sacha Fenestraz||Kondo Racing||1m21.621|
|11||39||Sho Tsuboi||JMS P.mu/cerumo – INGING||1m21.632|
|12||7||Kamui Kobayashi||carrozzeria Team KCMG||1m21.709|
|13||38||Hiroaki Ishiura||JMS P.mu/cerumo – INGING||1m21.768|
|14||18||Yuji Kunimoto||carrozzeria Team KCMG||1m21.813|
|15||51||Charles Milesi||B-MAX Racing with Motopark||1m21.936|
|16||3||Kenta Yamashita||Kondo Racing||1m21.981|
|17||1||Nick Cassidy||Vantelin Team TOM’S||1m22.217|
|18||14||Kazuya Oshima||ROOKIE Racing||1m22.369|
|19||50||Sergio Sette Camara||B-MAX Racing with Motopark||1m22.393|
|20||12||Tatiana Calderon||Drago Corse with ThreeBond||1m23.586|