September 30, 2013


All-Japan F3 Championship Rounds 12-13 Race Report

September 28-29, Sportsland SUGO (Miyagi prefecture) - Rounds 12 and 13 of the All-Japan Formula 3 Championship took place at Sportsland SUGO, where Nissan Driver Development Program (NDDP) member Mitsunori Takaboshi in the #23 machine took his 10th win of the season in Round 12, earning him this season's All-Japan Formula 3 Championship N-Class Driver's title.

This was Takaboshi's first time to race at SUGO, but he performed well from the practice, and took two pole positions during the official qualifying sessions. Due to this, by only finishing Round 12 on the 28th (Sat.), the difference in points between he and the 2nd place driver meant he had seized the series' title without having to wait for the final round. Takaboshi remained focused only on the final race of the weekend however, saying "I don't want to race with thinking about the situation to secure the title, I want to get the title with winning this race." and he completely concentrated on the main race.

Round 12 started at 14:50 on the 28th (Sat.). Takaboshi had messed-up his start at the previous round in Motegi, but had learned from the experience and made a strong start this time, immediately dashing ahead of the pack. He widened the gap with every lap, but at the final corner on lap 8, another car crashed and the safety car was called out. This instantly nullified the 10-second gap he'd built up over the second-place car, and on the first corner after race was restarted, he did allow someone to get ahead for a moment, but Takaboshi continued his cool, calculated charge and by the 2nd corner he had taken back the lead position, going on to secure his 10th victory of the season. As a result, Takaboshi sealed the series' title with three races remaining. Following Katsumasa Chiyo in 2011 and Daiki Sasaki in 2012, NDDP RACING has now achieved three consecutive driver's titles.

Mechanical issues just prior to the start of Round 13 on the 29th (Sun.) meant that Takaboshi had to start from the pitlane. However, like the day before, he caught up with the pack, and quickly began scything his way through the field at this track known for its difficulty on which to pass, and soon emerged in second place. At the time, there was a large gap to the leading machine, but Takaboshi was resolute and pushed fiercely ahead, closing the distance with every lap. He did not succeed in making a come-from-behind victory, but recorded the fastest lap on the way, showing the willpower of a champion.

Mitsunori Takaboshi (Round 12: Winner, Round 13: 2nd)
“I'm really glad I was able to clinch the series' title before the final event. I wanted to finish it off with two straight wins, but it didn't work out due to mechanical issues. It's shame, but I think I did my best in the race, and I'm glad I was able to show off my ability. Since the middle of the season, even when I won one race in an event, I haven't won all of the races at any of the events, so for the final round, I want to try to end the season by winning both races.”

Click images above to see larger versions.
All-Japan Formula 3 Championship Round 12
Pos No Machine Driver Time / Behind
1 23 S Road NDDP F3 Mitsunori Takaboshi 26'39.813
2 38 PTT SPIRIT F307 Nanin Indra-Payoong 1.843
3 6 Net Move Hanashima Racing Hiroshi Koizumi 6.478
All-Japan Formula 3 Championship Round 13
Pos No Machine Driver Time / Behind
1 38 PTT SPIRIT F307 Nanin Indra-Payoong 32'45.712
2 23 S Road NDDP F3 Mitsunori Takaboshi 20.032
3 6 Net Move Hanashima Racing Hiroshi Koizumi 1Lap


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