Sugo Super Formula: Fukuzumi leads Yamamoto in practice

Former Formula 2 driver Nirei Fukuzumi topped the first Super Formula practice at Sugo, leading home Dandelion Racing teammate Naoki Yamamoto.

Sugo Super Formula: Fukuzumi leads Yamamoto in practice

It was Koudai Tsukakoshi who set the early pace at the 3.7km circuit, his 1m06.198s effort putting him marginally ahead of Yamamoto at the top of the timesheets.

Tsukakoshi’s benchmark remained unbeaten until much later in the session, when Impul’s Ryo Hirakawa bolted on a set of soft tyres to clock a time of 1m05.851s.

Kondo’s Kenta Yamashita was next to snatch the top spot with 15 mins to go, going marginally quicker then Hirakawa, before Tsukakoshi returned to the top with a 1m05.763s flyer.

Times tumbled further in the final 10 minutes of the session, with Yuhi Sekiguchi, Alex Palou and Yamamoto all enjoying stints at front - the latter first to break the 1m05s barrier.

However, in the end it was Fukuzumi who ended the session faster, the Dandelion Racing setting a time of 1m04.812s with just three minutes to go.

Reigning champion Yamamoto ended up just 0.024s behind his teammate in second, with Nakajima Racing’s Palou a further 0.480s adrift in third.

Autopolis winner Sekiguchi was classified fourth as the top Toyota-powered driver, with TOM’S Nick Cassidy just behind in fifth.

Mugen driver Tomoki Tsukakoshi was classified sixth, while Tsukakoshi slipped down to seventh in the final order amid the late flurry of laps.

Yamashita finished eighth ahead of Hirakawa, while the top 10 was completed by B-Max/Motopark driver Lucas Auer.

Harrison Newey and Dan Ticktum languished down in 14th and 15th respectively, separated by a tenth of a second, while Artem Markelov propped up the timesheets in 20th position.

Reigning Japanese F3 champion Sho Tsuboi brought out the sole red flag of the session when he crashed at the SP Out left-hander. He ended up 18th in the classifications after failing to return to the track following his crash.


Cla Driver Team Time Gap
1 Japan Nirei Fukuzumi
DoCoMo Team Dandelion Racing 1'04.812
2 Japan Naoki Yamamoto
DoCoMo Team Dandelion Racing 1'04.836 0.024
3 Spain Alex Palou
TCS Nakajima Racing 1'05.316 0.504
4 Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi
Team Impul 1'05.474 0.662
5 New Zealand Nick Cassidy
Vantelin Team TOM'S 1'05.582 0.770
6 Japan Tomoki Nojiri
Team Mugen 1'05.652 0.840
7 Japan Koudai Tsukakoshi
Real Racing 1'05.763 0.951
8 Japan Kenta Yamashita
Kondo Racing 1'05.785 0.973
9 Japan Ryo Hirakawa
Team Impul 1'05.851 1.039
10 Austria Lucas Auer
B-MAX with Motopark 1'05.908 1.096
11 Japan Hiroaki Ishiura
JMS 1'06.191 1.379
12 Japan Tadasuke Makino
TCS Nakajima Racing 1'06.283 1.471
13 Japan Yuji Kunimoto
Kondo Racing 1'06.415 1.603
14 United Kingdom Harrison Newey
B-MAX with Motopark 1'06.437 1.625
15 United Kingdom Dan Ticktum
Team Mugen 1'06.539 1.727
16 Japan Kazuya Oshima
UOMO Sunoco Team LeMans 1'06.629 1.817
17 Japan Kazuki Nakajima
Vantelin Team TOM'S 1'06.672 1.860
18 Japan Sho Tsuboi
JMS 1'07.569 2.757
19 Japan Kamui Kobayashi
carrozzeria Team KCMG 1'07.720 2.908
20 Russian Federation Artem Markelov
UOMO Sunoco Team LeMans 1'07.979 3.167
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About this article

Series Super Formula
Event Sugo
Drivers Nirei Fukuzumi
Teams Dandelion Racing
Author Rachit Thukral