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Suzuka Super Formula: Yamamoto takes season's first pole, Vandoorne fourth

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Suzuka Super Formula: Yamamoto takes season's first pole, Vandoorne fourth
By:
Apr 23, 2016, 6:44 AM

Team Mugen’s Naoki Yamamoto took pole position for the season-opening round of Super Formula on Saturday, topping all three legs of qualifying at Suzuka.

Yamamoto lapped the circuit in 1m37.459s, beating Yuji Kunimoto’s P.MU entry by four tenths of a second.

Team Impul’s Yuhi Sekiguchi and McLaren protege Stoffel Vandoorne were separated by just ten thousandth of a second and will share the second row of the grid.

Vandoorne’s Dandelion teammate Tomoki Nojiri starts in fifth place, ahead of Takashi Kogure.

Further back, Koudai Tsukakoshi qualified in seventh place in the leading Real Racing machine, with Kamui Kobayashi eighth and slowest of the Q3 runners with a lap time of 1m38.367s.

2011 Super Formula champion Andre Lotterer failed to make it to the final session and will start ninth alongside former F1 test driver James Rossiter.

Earlier, reigning champion Hiroaki Ishiura was knocked out in Q1 as multiple lap times were deleted due to yellow flags. The session was briefly red-flagged after Team Impul’s Joao Paulo de Oliveira spun at Denger.

Former F1 driver Kazuki Nakajima later brought Q2 to a halt in similar fashion, dropping down to 14th, just behind India's Narain Karthikeyan, who benefited from Ishiura and Daisuke Nakajima's travail to make it to Q2.

Qualifying Results:

PosDriverTeamQ1Q2Q3
 
1  Naoki Yamamoto Team Mugen 1m38.609s 1m38.187s 1m37.459s
2  Yuji Kunimoto P.MU 1m39.435s 1m38.427s 1m37.820s
3  Yuhi Sekiguchi Team Impul 1m39.704s 1m38.576s 1m37.952s
4  Stoffel Vandoorne Dandelion 1m39.028s 1m38.430s 1m37.962s
5  Tomoki Nojiri Dandelion 1m39.357s 1m38.706s 1m37.964s
6  Takashi Kogure Drago Corse 1m38.888s 1m38.544s 1m38.179s
7  Koudai Tsukakoshi RealRacing 1m39.210s 1m38.684s 1m38.367s
8  Kamui Kobayashi Team Le Mans 1m39.063s 1m38.329s 1m38.842s
9  Andre Lotterer Team TOM’S  1m39.257s 1m38.772s  
10  James Rossiter Kondo Racing 1m39.254s 1m38.859s
11  Takuya Izawa Real Racing 1m39.399s 1m38.867s
12  Bertrand Baguette Nakajima Racing  1m39.400s 1m38.887s
13  Narain Karthikeyan Team Le Mans 1m39.895s 1m39.042s
14  Kazuki Nakajima Team TOM’S  1m39.196s 1m51.992s
15  Hiroaki Ishiura P.MU 1m39.908s  
16  Yuichi Nakayama KCMG 1m40.038s
17  J.P.de Oliveira Team Impul 1m40.493s
18  William Buller Kondo Racing 1m40.795s
19 Daisuke Nakajima Nakajima Racing  1m41.296s
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Suzuka Super Formula: Yamamoto dominates, Vandoorne takes debut podium

Suzuka Super Formula: Yamamoto dominates, Vandoorne takes debut podium
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