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Oyu tops opening day of Fuji Super Formula test

Honda youngster Toshiki Oyu set the pace on the opening day of Super Formula's second pre-season test at Fuji Speedway, outpacing the rest of the field by more than three tenths of a second.

Oyu tops opening day of Fuji Super Formula test

Oyu, who is going into his second season driving for Nakajima Racing, left it until the dying minutes of the day's running to post his best time, a 1m27.371s, knocking fellow Honda man Nirei Fukuzumi off the top spot.

Having topped last December's post-season test at Fuji, Dandelion Racing driver Fukuzumi was the driver to beat for most of the two-hour afternoon session, establishing himself at the head of the times with a 1m21.808s with a little under an hour left on the clock.

After a late red flag, caused by Tatiana Calderon coming to a stop exiting Turn 10, Fukuzumi improved further to a 1m21.722s, only to see that time blitzed to the tune of 0.351s by Oyu as the chequered flag fell.

Impul Toyota driver Hirakawa topped the earlier morning session with a 1m21.844s, and that effort stood as the third-quickest of the day as the 2020 series runner-up didn't improve in the afternoon.

Ritomo Miyata was another late improver in the 10-minute shootout that followed the day's third and final red flag, and ended up fourth-fastest and the top rookie in the best of the TOM'S cars.

Last year's Fuji polesitter Tomoki Nojiri was fifth for Team Mugen, followed by Ukyo Sasahara, who continues to substitute for the recovering Tadasuke Makino at Dandelion.

Kazuki Nakajima returned to Super Formula action at Fuji after having to miss the Suzuka test as he quarantined on his way back from a Toyota hypercar test at Paul Ricard, and was seventh-fastest for TOM'S.

After a low-key first pre-season test of the winter at Suzuka, Naoki Yamamoto continued to lag behind the pace of Nakajima teammate Oyu as he ended up eighth-fastest, just under ninth tenths off the pace.

Hiroki Otsu (Mugen) and Sena Sakaguchi (Inging) made it two more rookies inside in the top 10 ahead of Kamui Kobayashi's KCMG stand-in Kazuko Kotaka.

Yuhi Sekiguchi (Impul) endured an eventful day as he caused two red flags, one in each session, on both occasions appearing to spin shortly after exiting the pits. He ended the day 12th-fastest.

Yuichi Nakayama continues to fill in for the absent Sacha Fenestraz at Kondo Racing and was 17th-fastest, ahead of Calderon (Drago Corse), whose stoppage was the result of a gear selection issue.

Testing continues with two more two-hour sessions planned for Wednesday.

Fuji testing times:

Pos. Driver Team/Engine Morning Afternoon
1 Japan Toshiki Oyu Nakajima/Honda 1m22.857s 1m21.371s
2 Japan Nirei Fukuzumi Dandelion/Honda 1m22.357s 1m21.722s
3 Japan Ryo Hirakawa Impul/Toyota 1m21.844s 1m21.857s
4 Japan Ritomo Miyata TOM'S/Toyota 1m23.125s 1m22.014s
5 Japan Tomoki Nojiri Mugen/Honda 1m22.397s 1m22.184s
6 Japan Ukyo Sasahara Dandelion/Honda 1m22.843s 1m22.192s
7 Japan Kazuki Nakajima TOM'S/Toyota 1m22.645s 1m22.243s
8 Japan Naoki Yamamoto Nakajima/Honda 1m23.366s 1m22.254s
9 Japan Hiroki Otsu Mugen/Honda 1m23.246s 1m22.413s
10 Japan Sena Sakaguchi Inging/Toyota 1m22.415s 1m23.039s
11 Japan Kazuto Kotaka KCMG/Toyota 1m23.514s 1m22.422s
12 Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi Impul/Toyota 1m22.495s 1m22.690s
13 Japan Kazuya Oshima Rookie Racing/Toyota 1m22.590s 1m22.966s
14 Japan Sho Tsuboi Inging/Toyota 1m22.955s 1m22.651s
15 Japan Yuji Kunimoto KCMG/Toyota 1m24.274s 1m22.664s
16 Japan Kenta Yamashita Kondo/Toyota 1m23.376s 1m22.718s
17 Japan Yuichi Nakayama Kondo/Toyota 1m23.799s 1m23.204s
18 Colombia Tatiana Calderon Drago Corse/Honda 1m23.217s 1m23.460s
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About this article

Series Super Formula
Event Fuji March Testing
Author Jamie Klein