July 1, 2013


All-Japan F3 Championship Rounds 6 - 7 Race Report

Okayama International Circuit, Okayama prefecture (June 29-30) - Rounds 6 and 7 of the All-Japan Formula 3 Championship took place at Okayama International Circuit, where the #23 of Nissan Driver Development Program (NDDP) member Mitsunori Takaboshi extended its winning streak to seven with a pair of victories.

Takaboshi had taken pole position and set the fastest lap in the five races so far this season, winning all of them and securely leading the rankings. This round was Takaboshi's first time at Okayama International Circuit, and in the practice session on the 28th (Fri), he went slightly off course, a rare occurrence. He injured his hand, but had taken back his pace during the approximately four-hour driving before qualifying, where he took pole position for both Round 6 and Round 7.

The 18-lap Round 6 started at 13:50 on the 29th (Sat). Takaboshi got off to a good start, calling it his "best ever" at the press conference after the race, quickly closing in on the machines ahead of him with more powerful engines. He narrowly missed overtaking, but he kept up with the machines ahead, maintaining a high pace during the opening stages. His time dropped in the latter half of the race as his tires lost their grip, but none of his rivals in the N Class ever threatened his position, and he seized his sixth straight victory since the season opener. His best lap of the race far exceeded those of his peers, and he easily took fastest lap.

Round 7 began at 3pm on Sunday, the 30th. Unlike the previous day, Sunday's race took place under cloudy skies with a slightly strong headwind. Takaboshi held the top spot with a good start in this race as well, initially maintaining a 0.5-second gap over second place, then speeding up from the 5th lap to widen the gap in one spurt. The tire-burning finale of the previous day's race saw a reversal of lap times by trailing cars, making it quite a challenge to see how best the racers could maintain their times in the latter stages of Round 7, with its additional laps. Nevertheless, Takaboshi maintained a steady pace throughout the race while keeping an eye on the gap to the second-place car, on his way to taking home his 7th win of the season.
Takaboshi has scored the fastest lap time and taken wins from pole position in all 7 races so far this season.

Mitsunori Takaboshi (Round 6: winner, Round 7: winner)
“I had a crash on Friday, but because everyone on the team got the car back in shape in time for qualifying, I was able to take that and the races on without any worries whatsoever. My pace in the second half of Round 6 was actually slower than the car in second place, so for Round 7 I had planned to make sure my speed wouldn't drop in the second half. This plan was decided on by the team based on director Hasemi's advice, and thanks to that I managed to win even the long-distance race, so I am grateful to director Hasemi who imparted his advice to us. Although, unlike before, this turned out to be a narrow victory, I think it might have given me more experiences that I can draw on in future. The next round is at Fuji in two weeks, and is the course we as a team have had the most practice on, so I hope we can work hard to win again.‘

Click images above to see larger versions.


[ Race Results ] - Rd.6
Pos No Machine Driver Time / Behind
1 23 S Road NDDP F3 Mitsunori Takaboshi 27'07.709
2 62 Le Beausset F308 Ryo Ogawa 4.714
3 38 PTT SPIRIT F307 Nanin Indra-Payoong 10.938
[ Race Results ] - Rd.7
Pos No Machine Driver Time / Behind
1 23 S Road NDDP F3 Mitsunori Takaboshi 37'20.784
2 38 PTT SPIRIT F307 Nanin Indra-Payoong 0.733
3 11 Nova with IMM F3068 Shohei Yuzawa 1Lap


Page Top