NISSAN MOTORSPORTS

June 16, 2014

DAIKI SASAKI TAKES VICTORY IN F3, MITSUNORI TAKABOSHI ALSO TAKES 3RD STEP ON PODIUM

Race reports for rounds 6 and 7 of the All Japan F3 Championship

June 14-15,2014 Okayama International Circuit (Okayama) - Rounds 6 and 7 of the All Japan F3 Championship were held at the Okayama International Circuit where the #23 driven by Daiki Sasaki of the Nissan Driver Development Program (NDDP) took victory in the 6th round and a 2nd step on the podium in Round 7. The #22 of Mitsunori Takaboshi took 3rd on the podium in round 6 and followed this up with a 4th place in round 7.

The setting for this season's third stage, rounds 6 and 7, was Okayama International Circuit. The two drivers came out in fiery form in the exclusive runs held on the 13th (Fri), with Sasaki and Takaboshi racking up the 2nd and 3rd fastest laps respectively. In the official qualifying sessions for Rounds 6 and 7, carried out for 10 minutes each on the 14th (Sat), Sasaki grabbed 2nd position for round 6 and 4th for round 7 while Takaboshi qualified 5th for both rounds.

The final race for round 6 began at 3:55pm on the 14th (Sat) and Sasaki, beginning in 2nd made a stunning start dash to place him in 1st and, after flying into the first corner, continued to lead the race with superb driving that tore away from the competition. On lap 3 he marked off the fastest time and continued in that form for the entire 18 laps race to pass the checkered flag in 1st and take his first victory of the season.

Starting in 5th, Takaboshi made a superb start to pass two cars in the opening lap and raise his position to 3rd place. He maintained this placing for the rest of the race and grabbed third step on the podium.

Round 7 was held on the next day (Sat 15th) and both Sasaki and Takaboshi jumped up the leader board to 3rd and 4th places respectively from the start of the race. They both then proceeded to protect their positions and rack up laps. While the top four cars continued to increase their pace, the difference between each car reached a point of about 2.5 seconds at one stage. However, Sasaki still went on to overtake 1 more machine on lap 20 to put him in second and he went on to display a serious fight for top place. Although Sasaki was unfortunately unable to take the lead, he earned the 2nd step on the podium and Takaboshi also managed a commendable 4th.

After the race team principal Hasemi said, “The work for this race began on Thursday. Recently Sasaki has been in slightly bad form but he has managed to recover in this race and take home victory. In the 6th round Takaboshi worked hard and managed to climb up from 5th place to take the 3rd step on the podium. It was a good weekend for NDDP RACING.”

DRIVER QUOTES

Daiki Sasaki (Round 6: 1st, Round 7: 2nd)
“Although I had competed in 5 races, up until now I hadn't been able to attain a good result which I was pretty disappointed about to be honest. This time I was able to qualify in a better position and so, to take a win, I decided to go all out at the start and attack the race full pelt. With that pace I was able to take a victory and get on the podium 2 times in a row. I would like to continue this flow from now on and take the championship.”

Mitsunori Takaboshi (Round 6: 3rd, Round 7: 4th)
“I made some mistakes in qualifying and ended up starting in 5th for both races which was pretty frustrating. Round 6 was a pretty rough race but I managed to gain 2 places and take 3rd on the podium. Still, my ultimate goal is total victory so I'm going to keep up my friendly rivalry with Sasaki and aim for a win in the next race at Fuji.”


Click images above to see larger versions.

 

[ Race Results ] - All-Japan Formula 3 Championship Round 6 - 18Laps
Pos No. Machine Driver Time / Behind
1 23 B-MAX¥NDDP F312 Daiki Sasaki 26'10.133
2 7 HFDP RACING F312 Nobuharu Matsushita 0.881
3 22 B-MAX¥NDDP F312 Mitsunori Takaboshi 6.687
[ Race Results ] - All-Japan Formula 3 Championship Round 7 - 25Laps
Pos No. Machine Driver Time / Behind
1 36 PETRONAS TOMfS F314 Kenta Yamashita 36'44.962
2 23 B-MAX¥NDDP F312 Daiki Sasaki 1.841
3 1 PETRONAS TOMfS F312 Takamoto Katsuta 9.788
4 22 B-MAX¥NDDP F312 Mitsunori Takaboshi 11.414

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