Suzuka Super Formula: Ishiura takes double pole in season finale
Defending champion Hiroaki Ishiura has locked out pole position for the final two races of the Super Formula season at Suzuka.
While the grid for the second race was determined using the standard three-stage knockout format, Q1 was used to decide the starting order for Race 1.
Ishiura was ominous in the opening leg of qualifying, but faced a stern challenge from McLaren F1 protege Stoffel Vandoorne during Q3.
The Japanese driver has been awarded two points for clinching a double pole, placing him firmly in the thick of the title battle.
Ishiura cruises to Race 1 pole
Ishiura led the timesheets for the majority of Q1 with a time of 1m38.438s, before a late improvement to 1m37.453s saw the Japanese driver seal pole position for Race 1.
Yuji Kunimoto claimed the second spot to secure an all-Inging front row, ahead of of Tomoki Nojiri and Audi WEC driver Andre Lotterer.
The German was lying on the brink of Q1 elimination until a late-gasp effort catapulted him to fourth on the grid.
Meanwhile, Bertrand Baguette was fifth fastest in the session, with Kazuki Nakajima sixth and Vandoorne qualifying seventh on the grid.
Drago Corse’s Takashi Kogure, Mugen driver Naoki Yamamoto and former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi completed the top 10.
Championship leader Yuhi Sekiguchi endured a difficult session, ending a second off the pace in 13th place.
Former F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan and LMP1 racer James Rossiter were the biggest casualties in Q1.
Ishiura pips Vandoorne for Race 2 pole
The field was a lot closer in Q3, with Vandoorne getting to within 0.005s of Ishiura’s benchmark of 1m37.026s.
The Belgian set purple times in sectors one, two and four, but lost out to the Japanese driver in the penultimate sector.
Behind, Kunimoto ended third fastest with a time of 1m37.224s, with early pace setter Tomoki Nojiri finishing fourth.
Lotterer qualified fifth, ahead of Kazuki Nakajima, Baguette and Daisuke Nakajima. The top10 was completed by Koudai Tsukakoshi and Joao Paulo de Oliveira.
Sekiguchi’s troubles continued, with the points leader resigned to 13th on the grid after getting eliminated in Q2.
|8||Takashi Kogure||DRAGO CORSE||1'38.239||0.086|
|9||Naoki Yamamoto||TEAM MUGEN||1'38.288||0.049|
|10||Kamui Kobayashi||TEAM LEMANS||1'38.484||0.196|
|12||J.P.de Oliveira||TEAM IMPUL||1'38.525||0.034|
|13||Yuhi Sekiguchi||TEAM IMPUL||1'38.592||0.067|
|14||Koudai Tsukakoshi||REAL SF||1'38.761||0.169|
|16||Narain Karthikeyan||TEAM LEMANS||1'38.916||0.128|
|19||Takuya Izawa||REAL SF||1'39.469||0.393|
|9||Koudai Tsukakoshi||REAL SF||1'38.761||1'38.175|
|10||J.P.de Oliveira||ITOCHU ENEX TEAM IMPUL||1'38.525||1'38.208|
|11||Naoki Yamamoto||TEAM MUGEN||1'38.288||1'38.212|
|12||Takashi Kogure||DRAGO CORSE||1'38.239||1'38.546|
|13||Yuhi Sekiguchi||TEAM IMPUL||1'38.592||1'38.795|
|14||Kamui Kobayashi||TEAM LEMANS||1'38.484|
|16||Narain Karthikeyan||TEAM LEMANS||1'38.916|
|19||Takuya Izawa||REAL SF||1'39.469|
Sugo Super Formula: Sekiguchi takes dominant win, Vandoorne sixth
Suzuka Super Formula: Kunimoto takes points lead with Race 1 win