NISSAN MOTORSPORTS

May 13, 2014

NISSAN'S TAKABOSHI TAKES 3RD PLACE ON THE PODIUM AT ROUND 3,TWIN RING MOTEGI

Race report for rounds 3 to 5 of the All Japan F3 Championship

May 10-11,2014 Twin Ring Motegi (Tochigi Prefecture) - The 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds of the All Japan F3 Championship were held at Twin Ring Motegi where the #22 driven by Mitsunori Takaboshi from the Nissan Driver Development Program (NDDP) took third place on the podium. He followed this up with consecutive fourth places in rounds 4 and 5 to achieve a series of top placing finishes. The #23 of Daiki Sasaki also achieved successive achievements with a 6th in round 3, a 5th in round 4 and another 5th in round 5.

The second stage of the All Japan F3 championship was held at Twin Ring Motegi where 3 rounds were held over two days. The official, 10 minute qualifying sessions for Rounds 3 and 4 were held under beautifully fine weather on Saturday the 10th. In Round 3's qualifier Takaboshi took 3rd and Sasaki 4th, then in the qualifier for round 4 they took 3rd and 5th respectively. The starting grid for round 5 was determined by the results of Round 3's final race.

The final race of round 3 started at 2:45pm on the 10th (Sat) and Takaboshi, although unable to overtake the lead cars despite an impeccable start from third position, was able to maintain his placing throughout the race. He was able to briefly overtake one machine but was later caught back and ultimately passed the checkered flag in 3rd. Sasaki started in 5th, to eventually come home in 6th.

The 14 lap race for Round 4 was held on the following day, the 11th (Sun), under comfortably fine, if not slightly windy weather. Takaboshi began the race in 3rd place but fell back one position to 4th and continued the race from there. Despite earnestly fighting for first, he eventually ended the race in 3rd. Sasaki, starting in 5th and sped around the track while aiming for a higher placing but ultimately finished in the same position.

The 20 laps of round 5 started at 3:15pm. Takaboshi managed a bolting start from 4th position and, for a period, was racing in 3rd but the other car managed to take back its place and he continued the race from there. As for Sasaki, after starting in 5th he was briefly overtaken and dropped down to 6th, but he managed to retake his position and this left both drivers ticking off laps in 4th and 5th place. The race developed into one in which it was generally quite difficult to overtake the competition and at the finish Takabashi remained in 4th and Sasaki in 5th.

After the race Team Principal, Masahiro Hasemi stated, “It was unfortunate that Takaboshi failed at the start again. We are still lagging a little behind the competition with regards to our settings so there is room to improve. Still, it's good that we have been able to finish in the top placing and take home points.”

DRIVER QUOTES

Mitsunori Takaboshi (Round 3: 3rd, Round 4: 4th, Round 5: 4th)
“The balance of the car hasn't been good all week. We weren't really able to find a good setting and although we were able to pull something together for the qualifiers the potential of the car wasn't quite sufficient compared to the competition. We adjusted the settings for the final race but the state of the road surface changed and the conditions really weren't ideal. That being said I'm going to aim for the podium in the next round at Okayama.”

Daiki Sasaki (Round 3: 6th, Round 4: 5th, Round 5: 5th)
“Although I was able to record a 2nd placing time in the exclusive run, the balance of the car never felt quite right and in the qualifiers I ended up placing 4th, 5th and 6th. Some trouble with the brakes in Round 3 left me finishing in 6th, but I feel like were able to compete up to a point in the 4th and 5th rounds. I really want to raise my and the entire team's potential.”


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[ Race Results ] - All-Japan Formula 3 Championship Round 3 - 14Laps
Pos No. Machine Driver Time / Behind
1 7 HFDP RACING F312 Nobuharu Matsushita 25'02.458
2 36 PETRONAS TOM'S F314 Kenta Yamashita 2.018
3 22 B-MAX•NDDP F312 Mitsunori Takaboshi 6.415
6 23 B-MAX•NDDP F312 Daiki Sasaki 20.525
[ Race Results ] - All-Japan Formula 3 Championship Round 4 - 14Laps
Pos No. Machine Driver Time / Behind
1 7 HFDP RACING F312 Nobuharu Matsushita 25'05.261
2 36 PETRONAS TOM'S F314 Kenta Yamashita 0.791
3 1 PETRONAS TOM'S F312 Takamoto Katsuta 4.006
4 22 B-MAX•NDDP F312 Mitsunori Takaboshi 13.291
5 23 B-MAX•NDDP F312 Daiki Sasaki 13.801
[ Race Results ] - All-Japan Formula 3 Championship Round 5 - 20Laps
Pos No. Machine Driver Time / Behind
1 7 HFDP RACING F312 Nobuharu Matsushita 35'40.772
2 36 PETRONAS TOM'S F314 Kenta Yamashita 4.744
3 1 PETRONAS TOM'S F312 Takamoto Katsuta 6.406
4 22 B-MAX•NDDP F312 Mitsunori Takaboshi 19.608
5 23 B-MAX•NDDP F312 Daiki Sasaki 20.474

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