Sekiguchi tops first Super Formula test day

Former Japanese Formula 3 champion Yuhi Sekiguchi set the pace on the first day of Super Formula rookie and manufacturers testing on Wednesday.

Sekiguchi tops first Super Formula test day
Rio Haryanto, Honda Test Car
Kazuki Nakajima, Team Tom's
Nobuharu Matsushita, Dandelion Racing
Rio Haryanto, Honda Test Car
Rio Haryanto, Honda Test Car
Naoki Yamamoto, Team Mugen
Rio Haryanto, Honda Test Car
Rio Haryanto, Honda Test Car
Rio Haryanto, Honda Test Car
Nirei Fukuzumi, Team Mugen

Sekiguchi, who was second fastest in the morning, led much of the afternoon session with a time of 1m36.291s before a slew of late improvements dropped him down to fourth.

The Impul driver then went nearly half a second quicker on his final flyer, ending the day on top with a 1m35.717s lap.

Sometime F1 driver and two-time Super Formula champion Kazuki Nakajima finished just 0.076s behind in second, while his TOM'S teammate Andre Lotterer - fresh from his Formula E debut in Hong Kong - was another three tenths adrift in third.

GP3 and Formula V8 3.5 race winner Alex Palou was classified as the top rookie in fourth, his time being just 0.017s slower than Lotterer.

Dandelion’s Tomoki Nojiri and 2013 champion Naoki Yamamoto were separated by just 0.051s in fifth and sixth respectively, while Yuji Kunimoto was marginally behind in seventh.

Real Racing’s Koudai Tsukakoshi was next up in eighth, while Honda protege Nirei Fukuzumi finished ninth in his first ever SF outing.

Daisuke Nakajima was fastest in the morning, but ended up 10th in the combined timesheets after handing over the #64 car to Palou.

GP2 race winner Nobuharu Matsushita, who is set to make a full-time transition to Super Formula, was classified 13th with a time that was just over a second slower than pacesetter Sekiguchi.

The 24-year-old triggered one of the several red flags of the day, his Dandelion Racing car stopping on the start/finish straight with 30 minutes left in the day.

Another SF debutant to cause a red flag was Rio Haryanto, the Indonesian heavily damaging the Honda test car with a crash in the morning.

He propped up the timesheets in 22nd position, having had to hand over the car to Hiroki Otsu after lunch.

Day 1 Results:

PosDriverTeam / EngineMorningAfternoon
1  Yuhi Sekiguchi Impul-Toyota 1'36.607 1'35.717
2  Kazuki Nakajima TOM'S-Toyota 1'36.989 1'35.794
3  Andre Lotterer TOM'S-Toyota 1'36.855 1'36.015
4  Alex Palou Nakajima-Honda - 1'36.037
5  Tomoki Nojiri Dandelion-Honda 1'36.780 1'36.204
6  Naoki Yamamoto Mugen-Honda 1'36.805 1'36.255
7  Yuji Kunimoto Inging-Toyota 1'36.994 1'36.259
8  Koudai Tsukakoshi Real-Honda 1'37.248 1'36.524
9  Nirei Fukuzumi Mugen-Honda 1'37.206 1'36.536
10  Daisuke Nakajima Nakajima-Honda 1'36.573 -
11  Hiroaki Ishiura Inging-Toyota 1'37.818 1'36.693
12  Kamui Kobayashi KCMG-Toyota 1'40.468 1'36.765
13  Kenta Yamashita Kondo-Toyota 1'38.232 1'36.892
14  Nobuharu Matsushita Dandelion-Honda 1'37.548 1'36.968
15  Maximilian Gunther LeMans-Toyota 1'37.725 1'37.170
16  Narain Karthikeyan Nakajima-Honda 1'37.734 1'37.176
17  Jann Mardenborough Impul-Toyota 1'37.946 1'37.198
18  Nick Cassidy Kondo-Toyota 1'38.066 1'37.466
19  Mitsunori Takaboshi B-Max-Honda 1.39.408 1'38.364
20  Ralph Boschung LeMans-Toyota 1'39.366 1'38.486
21  Hiroki Ohtsu Honda test car - 1'38.799
22  Rio Haryanto Honda test car 1'43.062 -
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