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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Nojiri takes coronary heart from Alonso after Tremendous Formulation title defeat

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Workforce Mugen driver Nojiri went into the ultimate double-header of the season 10 factors behind collection chief Ritomo Miyata aiming to change into Japanese high formulation racing’s first driver to win three consecutive titles since Satoru Nakajima in 1984-86.

The weekend started with victory in a shortened opening race, permitting Nojiri to shut in to inside 6.5 factors, however fourth within the finale left him 8.5 factors down on TOM’S rival Ritomo Miyata in the long run, with team-mate Liam Lawson ending half a point ahead in second overall.

Requested what his aim can be after lacking out on an opportunity to match Nakajima’s three consecutive titles, Nojiri spoke of desirous to “tackle new challenges”, highlighting Alonso’s performances in F1 on the age of 42 as a supply of inspiration.

“Liam got here to Tremendous Formulation, and he additionally raced in F1, and it’s the identical for Miyata and [Ryo] Hirakawa [in the World Endurance Championship],” mentioned Nojiri.

“Frankly, I don’t suppose I’m so totally different to them, so it might be good to get possibilities to race outdoors of Japan as nicely. 

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“Lately, it appears like drivers don’t get given possibilities except they’re younger, so if there’s a possibility to buck that development even a bit of, I’d like to offer it my all. 

“Even Alonso, you recognize… I’m 34 years {old} and I’m in one of the best form of my profession, so I feel I nonetheless have an extended approach to go from right here.”


Nojiri rounded off his marketing campaign within the second Suzuka race with a fourth-place end, his second-worst end result excluding DNFs, as he was handed off the road by Miyata and was by no means ready to problem for a podium thereafter.

Wanting again on what he referred to as an “up and down” season, the outgoing champion highlighted his crash with Toshiki Oyu within the April Suzuka race and his absence from the next spherical in Autopolis as main blows to his title defence.

“If I had completed forward of Miyata, the collection rating would have regarded totally different [with Nojiri ahead of Lawson], which made me realise that total outcomes can activate these small issues, and that too many of those small issues piled up for me over the season,” mentioned Nojiri.

“When you find yourself preventing for the title, you at all times look again and suppose, ‘if that hadn’t occurred…’, which is painful. Wanting again now, the crash with Oyu at Suzuka in Spherical 3 was actually damaging. 

“However regardless of my sickness, I used to be capable of come again strongly and struggle for the championship, which I feel is due to everybody that supported me.

“Truthfully, I assumed it might be troublesome to win the title this yr, however I used to be supported by so many individuals, and I feel I really feel much more grateful now than after I received the title.”

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