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Kobayashi leads Nakajima on first Super Formula test day

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Kobayashi leads Nakajima on first Super Formula test day
By:
Mar 12, 2018, 9:24 AM

Ex-Formula 1 driver Kamui Kobayashi drew first blood as testing for the 2018 Super Formula season began at Suzuka on Monday.

Kobayashi topped the morning session with a lap of 1m36.122s, and his time was unbeaten after two hours and 15 minutes of further running in the afternoon.

Kazuki Nakajima came close to dislodging Kobayashi from the top spot amid a late flurry of laps, but his final flyer fell 0.019s short of the KCMG driver.

Yuji Kunimoto was the only other driver to break the 1m36.2s barrier, the 2016 Super Formula champion finishing third after making a one-second jump in the afternoon.

Defending champion Hiroaki Ishiura likewise made a major leap after lunch to finish fourth, but ended up a tenth adrift of his Inging teammate.

Nobuharu Matsushita led the way for Honda on his series debut, finishing fifth with a time of 1m36.451s.

Tomoki Nojiri ran Matsushita close in the Honda-powered Dandelion car to classify sixth, while 2017 Super GT champion Nick Cassidy was less than a tenth adrift in seventh.

Ryo Hirakawa was one of the few drivers who were unable to make an improvement in the afternoon, but his morning’s lap of 1m36.647s was good enough to put him eighth in the combined timesheets.

Mugen's Naoki Yamamoto and Real Racing's sole driver Koudai Tsukakoshi completed the top-10.

Williams F1 junior Oliver Rowland was only 16th quickest on his first Super Formula test appearance, half a second down on Team LeMans’ regular driver Kazuya Oshima.

Rowland will give way for Formula V8 3.5 champion Pietro Fittipaldi on Tuesday, the second and final day of the Suzuka test.

Super Formula test results:

Pos.

Driver

Team

Morning

Afternoon

1

 Kamui Kobayashi

Team KCMG

1’36.122

1’38.463

2

 Kazuki Nakajima

TOM’S

1’37.547

1’36.141

3

 Yuji Kunimoto

INGING

1’37.678

1’36.178

4

 Hiroaki Ishiura

INGING

1’37.549

1’36.295

5

 Nobuharu Matsushita

DANDELION

1’37.176

1’36.451

6

 Tomoki Nojiri

DANDELION

1’37.124

1’36.513

7

 Nick Cassidy

KONDO

1’37.670

1’36.589

8

 Ryo Hirakawa

IMPUL

1’36.647

1’37.573

9

 Naoki Yamamoto

TEAM MUGEN

1’37.278

1’36.889

10

 Koudai Tsukakoshi

REAL RACING

1’37.665

1’36.919

11

 Yuhi Sekiguchi

IMPUL

1’38.204

1’37.140

12

 Nirei Fukuzumi

TEAM MUGEN

1’37.515

1’38.159

13

 Takuya Izawa

NAKAJIMA RACING

1’37.735

1’38.347

14

 Kazuya Oshima

TEAM LEMANS

1’38.734

1’37.909

15

 Kenta Yamashita

KONDO RACING

1’38.539

1’37.926

16

 Oliver Rowland

TEAM LEMANS

1’38.878

1’38.474

17

 James Rossiter

TOM’S

1’38.822

1’38.623

18

 Narain Karthikeyan

NAKAJIMA RACING

1’39.079

1’39.963

19

 Jann Mardenborough /  Katsumasa Chiyo

B-Max Racing

1’40.360

1’39.392

 

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