Sugo Super Formula: Sekiguchi beats Nakajima to pole by 0.018s
Team Impul’s Yuhi Sekiguchi narrowly beat Kazuki Nakajima to pole position for the Sugo round of Super Formula on Saturday.
During Q3, McLaren reserve Stoffel Vandoorne was the first driver to dip into the 1m05s, setting a time of 1m05.598s.
The Belgian's Dandelion teammate Tomoki Nojiri went marginally quicker, lapping the circuit in 1m05.506s, before Sekiguchi stamped his authority with a 1m05.398s.
Thereafter, Toyota's WEC driver Nakajima made a late attempt to steal pole, ultimately falling short by just 0.018s.
Nojiri eventually qualified in third place, ahead of Daisuke Nakajima. The duo were separated by mere 0.038s.
Vandoorne shuffled down to fifth place as others improved with Joao Paulo de Oliveira ending sixth, while Yuichi Nakayama and James Rossiter completed the top eight in Q3.
Championship leader Yuji Kunimoto had a tough qualifying, after he was eliminated in Q1 itself and will start Sunday's race from 17th.
Naoki Yamamoto and Toyota's WEC driver Kamui Kobayashi were the other two casualties in the first leg of qualifying.
Yamamoto collided with Kobayashi in the pitlane which damaged the former's front wing, delaying his final run. Kobayashi ended 14th, while Yamamoto was 19th.
Meanwhile, Audi WEC's driver Andre Lotterer, 2015 champion Hiroaki Ishiura and former Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan failed to make the cut into Q3, ending ninth, 10th and 14th respectively.
|1||Yuhi Sekiguchi||TEAM IMPUL||1'05.586||1'05.617||1'05.398|
|4||Daisuke Nakajima||NAKAJIMA RACING||1'06.120||1'05.858||1'05.544|
|6||J.P.de Oliveira||TEAM IMPUL||1'06.122||1'05.692||1'05.629|
|11||Bertrand Baguette||NAKAJIMA RACING||1'06.215||1'06.027|
|12||Koudai Tsukakoshi||REAL RACING||1'06.344||1'06.057|
|13||Takashi Kogure||DRAGO CORSE||1'05.963||1'06.196|
|14||Narain Karthikeyan||TEAM LEMANS||1'06.269||1'06.232|
|15||Kamui Kobayashi||TEAM LEMANS||1'06.361|
|18||Takuya Izawa||REAL RACING||1'06.617|
|19||Naoki Yamamoto||TEAM MUGEN||1'06.754|
Okayama Super Formula: Kunimoto wins strategic battle, Vandoorne seventh
Sugo Super Formula: Sekiguchi takes dominant win, Vandoorne sixth