Okayama Super Formula: Sekiguchi fastest in practice

Yuhi Sekiguchi led a one-two for Impul in first Super Formula practice at Okayama, as the championship frontrunners trailed at the bottom.

Okayama Super Formula: Sekiguchi fastest in practice

It was reigning Japanese F3 champion Sho Tsuboi who led the majority of the session on soft tyres, improving gradually from a 1m15.775s to a 1m14.618s to enjoy a virtually uninterrupted run at the top of the charts.

However, he was shuffled back to 11th as nearly the entire field made a late switch to the soft tyre in the final 10 minutes of the session.

Sekiguchi was one of the biggest movers amid the late flurry of soft tyre laps, clocking a time of 1m13.851s to snatch the top spot. 

Ryo Hirakawa set a time that was only 0.085s slower to take second, while Inging’s Hiroaki Ishiura finished another 0.019s adrift in third.

Mugen driver Tomoki Nojiri was Honda’s top driver in fourth, 0.142s off Sekiguchi’s chart-topping time, with Nirei Fukuzumi next up in the Honda-powered Dandelion car.

KCMG’s Kamui Kobayashi was sixth-quickest, heading Nakajima Racing pair Tadasuke Makino and Alex Palou, while the top 10 was completed by the Kondo Racing cars of Kenta Yamashita and Yuji Kunimoto.

Red Bull junior Patricio O’Ward was classified 15th in the second of the two Mugen entries, while Artem Markelov’s replacement Yuichi Nakayama ended up 17th-quickest on his return to Super Formula.

Championship protagonists Nick Cassidy (TOM’S) and Naoki Yamamoto (Dandelion) elected not to complete any runs on the soft tyre and two drivers were classified 18th and 19th respectively, with Cassidy edging Yamamoto by just 0.012s.

Friday's sole practice took place in dry but overcast conditions, although light rain was reported at some parts of the track later in the session.

Additional reporting by Kenichi Tanaka


Cla Driver Team Time Gap
1 Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi
Team Impul 1'13.851
2 Japan Ryo Hirakawa
Team Impul 1'13.936 0.085
3 Japan Hiroaki Ishiura
JMS P.mu/cerumo-INGING 1'13.955 0.104
4 Japan Tomoki Nojiri
Team Mugen 1'13.993 0.142
5 Japan Nirei Fukuzumi
DoCoMo Team Dandelion Racing 1'14.093 0.242
6 Japan Kamui Kobayashi
carrozzeria Team KCMG 1'14.178 0.327
7 Japan Tadasuke Makino
TCS Nakajima Racing 1'14.299 0.448
8 Spain Alex Palou
TCS Nakajima Racing 1'14.447 0.596
9 Japan Kenta Yamashita
Kondo Racing 1'14.496 0.645
10 Japan Yuji Kunimoto
Kondo Racing 1'14.505 0.654
11 Japan Sho Tsuboi
JMS P.mu/cerumo-INGING 1'14.618 0.767
12 Austria Lucas Auer
B-MAX with Motopark 1'14.798 0.947
13 United Kingdom Harrison Newey
B-MAX with Motopark 1'14.878 1.027
14 Japan Koudai Tsukakoshi
Real Racing 1'14.880 1.029
15 Mexico Patricio O'Ward
Team Mugen 1'15.065 1.214
16 Japan Kazuya Oshima
UOMO Sunoco Team LeMans 1'15.238 1.387
17 Japan Yuichi Nakayama
UOMO Sunoco Team LeMans 1'15.531 1.680
18 New Zealand Nick Cassidy
Vantelin Team TOM'S 1'15.681 1.830
19 Japan Naoki Yamamoto
DoCoMo Team Dandelion Racing 1'15.693 1.842
20 Japan Kazuki Nakajima
Vantelin Team TOM'S 1'16.450 2.599
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