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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Lawson prices to 3rd win in six races

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Beginning second on the grid behind polesitter Tadasuke Makino, Lawson handed the Dandelion driver shortly after the pitstop section to take the lead earlier than marching to a snug 4.4s victory.

With Ritomo Miyata ending solely third and Tomoki Nojiri having an uninspiring race en path to eighth, Lawson sits only one level adrift of his TOM’S rivals within the standings with simply three races left to run throughout Motegi and Suzuka.

Initially of the race, Makino fended off a fast-starting Lawson to carry the lead into Flip 1, as Nakajima Racing’s Naoki Yamamoto made a speedy getaway from sixth on the grid to maneuver as much as third.

Miyata, the championship chief coming into Fuji, held on to fifth behind the second Nakajima Racing automobile of Ren Sato, whereas Nojiri dropped a spot to eighth.

Within the opening laps, Lawson closed in on Makino on a number of events utilizing the OTS button on the beginning/end straight, however the Japanese driver all the time had the measure of his Mugen rival, as he managed to take care of a one-second buffer up entrance.

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When the pit window opened on the finish of lap 10, Sato and Miyata pulled the pin and headed straight to the pitlane on the first alternative, forcing others to pit as effectively.

Lawson duly adopted the duo into the pits on lap 11, with Makino additionally getting his obligatory cease out of the best way on the next tour.

This proved to be the deciding level of the race as, though Makino was in a position to maintain on to the web lead after finishing his pitstop, he couldn’t put up a practical combat to Lawson on chilly tyres.

With Lawson having his tyres as much as temperature already, the Mugen driver executed a simple move on Makino into the Flip 3 left-hander, with the one-time Method 2 race winner unable to mount any counter-attack.

From there on, the one menace Lawson confronted got here from Yamamoto, who had determined to go lengthy within the first stint and had the potential to place up a late combat if the protection automobile got here into play.

However such was Lawson’s tempo on contemporary tyres that it quickly grew to become clear the Kiwi would don’t have any bother holding on to his place.

As soon as Yamamoto and the opposite late stoppers got here into the pits, the best way was cleared for Lawson to take a snug victory and assert his place as a severe championship challenger.

Makino completed second, marking his second consecutive podium end, whereas Miyata accomplished the rostrum spots after passing Sato on lap 31 – the transfer permitting him to carry on to the factors lead by the smallest of margins.

Behind, Ryo Hirakawa put in a mighty drive from twentieth on the grid to complete fourth, shifting inside the highest 10 after 9 laps earlier than emulating Yamamoto’s technique and going lengthy within the first stint.

Hirakawa was at one stage over six seconds behind Yamamoto however he had halved the hole by the point the Nakajima driver stopped on lap 25.

The Impul driver stayed out for six extra laps after which confirmed speedy tempo on contemporary tyres, easing previous each Nojiri, Yamamoto and Kakunoshin Ota earlier than passing Sato on the very closing nook on the final lap for fourth.

Sato and Ota completed fifth and sixth respectively, the latter scoring his first factors of the season, whereas Yamamoto might solely handle seventh having run as excessive as third early within the race.

Behind Nojiri, the highest 10 was accomplished by KCMG’s Kamui Kobayashi and Inging’s Sena Sakaguchi, each helped by TGM Grand Prix driver Hiroki Otsu bizarrely shedding his front-left wheel within the closing levels.

Sakaguchi’s team-mate Sho Tsuboi, one other driver within the title combat coming into Fuji, failed to attain factors after ending eleventh.

Race outcomes:

 Cla   Nº   Driver  Staff  Delay/Retirement 
1 15  Liam Lawson Mugen  
2 Tadasuke Makino Dandelion 4.453
3 37  Ritomo Miyata TOM’S 15.235
4 20  Ryo Hirakawa Impul 19.278
5 65  Ren Sato Nakajima Racing 19.674
6 Kakunoshin Ohta Dandelion 20.781
7 64  Naoki Yamamoto Nakajima Racing 21.193
8 Tomoki Nojiri Mugen 26.496
9 Kamui Kobayashi KCMG 31.813
10 39  Sena Sakaguchi Inging 32.430
11 38  Sho Tsuboi Inging 43.262
12 14  Kazuya Oshima Rookie Racing 45.106
13 50  Nobuharu Matsushita B-Max 48.782
14 Kazuto Kotaka Kondo Racing 49.543
15 18  Yuji Kunimoto KCMG 54.504
16 12  Nirei Fukuzumi ThreeBond 56.374
17 Kenta Yamashita Kondo Racing 58.136
18 55  Cem Bölükbaşi TGM Grand Prix 1’01.595
19 36  Ukyo Sasahara TOM’S 1’03.476
20 19  Yuhi Sekiguchi Impul Not operating
21 53  Hiroki Otsu TGM Grand Prix Not operating
  51  Raoul Hyman B-Max Retirement



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