July 15, 2013


All-Japan F3 Championship Rounds 8 - 9 Race Report

Fuji Speedway, Shizuoka prefecture (July 13-14, 2013) - Rounds 8 and 9 of the All-Japan F3 Championship took place at Fuji Speedway. Piloting the #23 machine, Nissan Driver Development Program (NDDP) member Mitsunori Takaboshi took his eighth win of the season in Round 9.

Prior to the weekend's event, it was announced that a round of the All-Japan F3 Championship will be held as a support race to the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) when it visits the country this season, meaning that the series' champion will be decided after a total of fifteen races held over the course of seven race meets.

Takaboshi had a string of consecutive victories so far, but his rivals have upped their speed, and while he posted the class' top time in practice on the 12th (Fri.), he did not run unopposed. In qualifying as well, he came second in the session for Round 8, missing pole position for the first time this season, but he bounced back during the interval to take back pole position in the qualifying session for Round 9.

Round 8 started at 12:55 on the 13th (Sat.). Takaboshi got off to a good start and was nearly even with the top machine up to the first corner, but was held back and could not overtake. In the first half of the race, the gap widened as the number of laps increased, but he managed his tires well, and near the end of the race gradually closed the gap. However, he fell just short of overtaking, and his winning streak since the Okayama season-opener had come to an end.

Round 9 on the 14th (Sun.) saw Takaboshi get off to an excellent start, as he had done on the previous day, and he held onto the top spot. In contrast, the second place machine fumbled the start, opening a large gap from the opening lap. As Takaboshi had been unable to improve his pace and thus struggled in Round 8, he conferred with his team and had modified the set up. The changes suited the track conditions, giving him a lead over the drivers behind even in their best laps. Paying close attention to tire management, he never let his pace drop all the way through the end to record his eighth win of the season. NDDP Racing had not previously won the summer race at Fuji Speedway, making it a joyous victory for the team

Mitsunori Takaboshi (Round 8: 2nd, Round 9: Winner)
“This time, the car wasn't able to produce much speed from Friday onward, so I struggled. My winning streak and pole position streak both ended, but I thought, ‘You never know what's going to happen in a race, so during the season, something like this can definitely happen,’ so I didn't let my inability to win influence me any more than necessary. In Round 9, the changes to the set-up went really well, and I was able to open up the gap and win. I am grateful to the team for finding such a good set-up on the car. I'm accumulating points and getting closer to the championship title little by little, but I don't feel too much tension. Ever since the opener, I've felt I was going to take the series title, so I want to focus more on winning each race.”

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[ Race Results ] - Rd.8
Pos No Machine Driver Time / Behind
1 38 PTT SPIRIT F307 Nanin Indra-Payoong 24'52.635
2 23 S Road NDDP F3 Mitsunori Takaboshi 0.747
3 6 Net Move Hanashima Racing Hiroshi Koizumi 16.955
[ Race Results ] - Rd.9
Pos No Machine Driver Time / Behind
1 23 S Road NDDP F3 Mitsunori Takaboshi 34'59.635
2 38 PTT SPIRIT F307 Nanin Indra-Payoong 26.635
3 6 Net Move Hanashima Racing Hiroshi Koizumi 28.820


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