Fuji Super Formula: Kunimoto scores maiden pole

Reigning Super Formula champion Yuji Kunimoto claimed pole for the Fuji round of Japan’s premier single-seater championship, leading an Inging 1-2.

Fuji Super Formula: Kunimoto scores maiden pole

Team TOM’S driver Kazuki Nakajima had the early benchmark with a 1m23.265s before a flurry of late laps shuffled the former F1 driver down the pack.

Kunimoto was one of the last to cross the flag, lapping the Fuji International Speedway in 1m23.044s to secure his first pole position of the season.

2015 champion Hiroaki Ishiura locked the front row for Inging, just 0.063s shy of his teammate.

Team Impul’s Yuhi Sekiguchi was another tenth behind in third, while Nakajima eventually dropped to fourth by the time the chequered flag fell.

Naoki Yamamoto was once again the top Honda driver in fifth, albeit half a second slower than Kunimoto’s chart-topping time.

Kondo Racing duo Kenta Yamashita and Nick Cassidy qualified sixth and seventh respectively, the latter sharing the fourth row with Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly.

Earlier in Q2, Le Mans 24 Hours pole record holder Kamui Kobayashi spun on track, bringing out a red flag.

The intervention proved particularly costly for championship leader Andre Lotterer, who was left with little tyre grip towards the end of the session to progress into Q3.

Lotterer will start Sunday’s race from 12th, two positions ahead of Kobayashi.

Qualifying results:

 Pos. Driver Team / Engine  Time  Gap 
1  Yuji Kunimoto Inging/Toyota 1'23.044 -
2  Hiroaki Ishiura Inging/Toyota 1'23.107 0.063
3  Yuhi Sekiguchi Impul/Toyota 1'23.193 0.149
4  Kazuki Nakajima TOM'S/Toyota 1'23.265 0.221
5  Naoki Yamamoto Mugen/Honda 1'23.478 0.434
6  Kenta Yamashita Kondo/Toyota 1'23.516 0.472
7  Nick Cassidy Kondo/Toyota 1'23.785 0.741
8  Pierre Gasly Mugen/Honda 1'23.902 0.858
9  Jann Mardenborough Impul/Toyota 1'24.081 1.037
10  Felix Rosenqvist LeMans/Toyota 1'24.093 1.049
11  Tomoki Nojiri Dandelion/Honda 1'24.173 1.129
12  Andre Lotterer TOM'S/Toyota 1'24.202 1.158
13  Takuya Izawa Dandelion/Honda 1'24.308 1.264
14  Kamui Kobayashi KCMG/Toyota 1'27.969 4.925
15  Daisuke Nakajima


1'24.612 1.568
16  Narain Karthikeyan Nakajima/Honda 1'24.781 1.737
17  Koudai Tsukakoshi Real Racing/Honda 1'24.802 1.758
18  Takashi Kogure B-Max/Honda 1'24.821 1.777
19  Kazuya Oshima LeMans/Toyota 1'24.855 1.811
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