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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Nojiri wins, Lawson thirteenth after first-lap chaos

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Pink Bull junior Lawson spun on the opening lap after operating extensive on the exit of Flip 2 whereas battling with Nojiri for the lead, with Tadasuke Makino and Yuhi Sekiguchi each going airborne within the ensuing mayhem.

Though the Mugen group was capable of restore Lawson’s broken automobile in the course of the purple flags and ship him again out on observe, he rejoined the sector in final place, with a drive-through penalty for working beneath the intervention dealing additional harm to his hopes of a restoration.

Lawson finally completed the race down in thirteenth, whereas Nojiri was comparatively unchallenged out entrance, beating nearest rival Ryo Hirakawa by 7.4 seconds.

The end result offers Ritomo Miyata, who completed fourth, an eight-point lead over Lawson within the standings, with Nojiri an extra two factors adrift in third heading into the ultimate races at Suzuka in October.


Story of the race

Polesitter Nojiri confronted a stern problem from Mugen team-mate Lawson initially, with the Kiwi having jumped to second after front-row starter Kakunoshin Ota stalled on the grid.

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As they approached Flip 2 side-by-side, Lawson ran out of room and went extensive over the kerbs on the exit of the nook, shedding management and spinning again on the circuit.

With little time to react, each Makino (Dandelion) and Sekiguchi (Impul) collided with Lawson, with the high-speed impression sending their automobiles airborne. Nobuharu Matsushita (B-Max) was additionally concerned within the melee, as his try to maneuver to the appropriate to keep away from the incident backfired.

The purple flag was instantly deployed, with photographs displaying Sekiguchi’s automobile touchdown the wrong way up on the right-hand aspect of the observe. 

Sekiguchi, Makino and Matsushita have been all out on the spot, however Lawson was extremely capable of get his hobbled automobile again into the pits, the place the Mugen mechanics started engaged on it beneath the purple flag.

Extremely, the automobile was repaired in time for the restart, permitting Lawson to rejoin from the pitlane.

When the race acquired underway once more after two laps behind the security automobile, Nojiri held on to the lead, with Toshiki Oyu holding second for TGM after profiting from the first-lap chaos to maneuver up from fourth on the grid.

Oyu pitted on the first alternative on lap 10 to get his obligatory cease out of the best way, whereas temporary spots of rain prompted Nojiri to remain out on observe till longer.

Finally, the rain by no means materialised and Nojiri dived into the pits on lap 26, rejoining the observe comfortably forward of his nearest rival Oyu.

From there on, the one impediment in Nojiri’s approach was Impul driver Hirakawa, who had been circulating just some seconds behind him earlier than his pitstop and had an opportunity to overcut him whereas he circulated the observe on chilly tyres.

However the Impul group mechanics struggled to placed on the right-rear tyre on Hirakawa’s automobile, together with his cease clocking at 9.4s in comparison with 7.2s for Nojiri.

That allowed Nojiri to carry on to the lead and cruise to his second victory of the season, with Hirakawa passing Oyu for second on lap 33 of 37.

Hirakawa additionally survived a half-spin on his method to second after Naoki Yamamoto had tried to go him at Flip 11 in an incident that induced terminal harm to the Nakajima Racing driver’s automobile.

Fourth place went to TOM’S driver Miyata, who put in a heroic drive after dropping to the rear of the sector with a stall on the unique begin.

Sena Sakaguchi completed fifth for Inging, whereas Kondo Racing’s Kazuto Kotaka was sixth regardless of a late tangle with KCMG driver Kamui Kobayashi, who misplaced time with an excruciatingly gradual pitstop on lap 12.

Finishing the factors scorers have been Kazuya Oshima (Rookie Racing), Kenta Yamashita (Kondo) and Yuji Kunimoto (KCMG).

Lawson handed Nirei Fukuzumi on the ultimate lap for thirteenth, the worst results of his temporary Tremendous Components profession thus far.

Ota was one other non-finisher after a pitlane incident with Ren Sato (Nakajima), whereas Sho Tsuboi was one other early retiree after his Inging machine slowed on observe quickly after the restart.

Race outcomes:

 Cla   Nº   Driver  Crew Hole
1 Tomoki Nojiri Mugen  
2 20  Ryo Hirakawa Impul 7.439
3 53  Toshiki Oyu TGM 15.456
4 37  Ritomo Miyata TOM’S 15.933
5 39  Sena Sakaguchi Inging 32.873
6 Kazuto Kotaka Kondo 36.302
7 Kamui Kobayashi KCMG 36.772
8 14  Kazuya Oshima Rookie 38.148
9 Kenta Yamashita Kondo 38.752
10 18  Yuji Kunimoto KCMG 40.229
11 55  Cem Bölükbaşi TGM 41.653
12 36  Ukyo Sasahara TOM’S 1’01.366
13 15  Liam Lawson Mugen 1’04.340
14 12  Nirei Fukuzumi ThreeBond 1’05.577
15 51  Raoul Hyman B-Max 1’19.994
16 65  Ren Sato Nakajima 2 laps /1’12.361
  64  Naoki Yamamoto Nakajima Retirement
  Kakunoshin Ota Dandelion Retirement
  38  Sho Tsuboi Inging Retirement
  19  Yuhi Sekiguchi Impul Retirement
  Tadasuke Makino Dandelion Retirement
  50  N.Matsushita B-Max Retirement

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