Fukuzumi sweeps final day of Fuji Super Formula test

Jamie Klein

Dandelion Racing driver Fukuzumi again prevailed during a late fresh-tyre shootout in the 130-minute Wednesday afternoon session, setting a best time of 1m21.207s.

That was enough to beat nearest challenger Ryo Hirakawa (Impul) by 0.241s, although it fell short of his fastest time in the morning session and Hirakawa's Tuesday benchmark.

The session was disrupted by no fewer than three red flags, the first of which was triggered by TOM'S man Kazuki Nakajima spinning off at Turn 4.

Not long after action resumed, Kamui Kobayashi's KCMG car sustained a left-rear puncture, causing him to go off at the same corner, while his teammate Yuji Kunimoto suffered a similar problem later in the session at Turn 9, causing another stoppage.

Red Bull junior Juri Vips (Mugen) had been leading the way on a 1m21.819s before the final stoppage, but this was surpassed by Sacha Fenestraz (Kondo Racing) just after the 90-minute mark as the Frenchman posted a 1m21.782s and then a 1m21.642s.

That was the time to beat heading into the closing minutes, when Fukuzumi went some four tenths faster to top the session for Honda.

Fenestraz's earlier time was good enough for third, followed by Dandelion's 2018 champion Naoki Yamamoto in fourth and the second Impul car of Yuhi Sekiguchi in fifth.

Toshiki Oyu (Nakajima Racing) rounded out an impressive two days in sixth ahead of Vips and another rookie, B-Max/Motopark driver Sergio Sette Camara.

Kobayashi and Nakajima ended up 10th and 12th respectively after their earlier troubles, sandwiched by reigning champion Nick Cassidy (TOM'S).

Drago Corse newcomer Tatiana Calderon concluded the test at the bottom of the order, not improving on her best time from the morning session.

Session results:

Pos. No. Driver Team/Engine Time Gap
1 6 Japan Nirei Fukuzumi Dandelion/Honda 1m21.207s  
2 20 Japan Ryo Hirakawa Impul/Toyota 1m21.448s 0.241s
3 4 France Sacha Fenestraz Kondo/Toyota 1m21.642s 0.435s
4 5 Japan Naoki Yamamoto Dandelion/Honda 1m21.662s 0.455s
5 19 Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi Impul/Toyota 1m21.676s 0.469s
6 65 Japan Toshiki Oyu Nakajima/Honda 1m21.691s 0.484s
7 15 Estonia Juri Vips Mugen/Honda 1m21.819s 0.612s
8 50 Brazil Sergio Sette Camara B-Max/Honda 1m21.823s 0.616s
9 64 Japan Tadasuke Makino Nakajima/Honda 1m21.832s 0.625s
10 7 Japan Kamui Kobayashi KCMG/Toyota 1m21.929s 0.722s
11 1 New Zealand Nick Cassidy TOM'S/Toyota 1m22.005s 0.798s
12 36 Japan Kazuki Nakajima TOM'S/Toyota 1m22.043s 0.836s
13 39 Japan Sho Tsuboi Inging/Toyota 1m22.077s 0.870s
14 16 Japan Tomoki Nojiri Mugen/Honda 1m22.236s 1.029s
15 38 Japan Hiroaki Ishiura Inging/Toyota 1m22.320s 1.113s
16 3 Japan Kenta Yamashita Kondo/Toyota 1m22.446s 1.239s
17 18 Japan Yuji Kunimoto KCMG/Toyota 1m22.453s 1.246s
18 14 Japan Kazuya Oshima Inging/Toyota 1m22.746s 1.539s
19 51 France Charles Milesi B-Max/Honda 1m22.892s 1.685s
20 12 Colombia Tatiana Calderon Drago Corse/Honda 1m23.475s 2.268s