Press Release 89 =46N-5 / SUGO Race August, 3rd, 1997 De la Rosa wins again ! Ralph Firman's hard work brings an excellent 2nd. Sugo (Japan) - Pedro de la Rosa (Shionogi Nova) has done it again! The Spaniard has won his 3rd Formula Nippon...
Press Release 89 =46N-5 / SUGO Race August, 3rd, 1997
De la Rosa wins again !
Ralph Firman's hard work brings an excellent 2nd.
Sugo (Japan) - Pedro de la Rosa (Shionogi Nova) has done it again! The Spaniard has won his 3rd Formula Nippon race in five starts and has increased his championship lead to 18 points.
Briton Ralph Firman (TMS) came an excellent 2nd and has established himself as the best rookie of the series already. The 1996 British & Macau F-3 champion is proving he's a man to watch in future races. Masahiko Kageyama, (Impul Racing) inherited third place after his team mate and championship runer-up Takuya Kurosawa had to stop because of an engine failure.
Starting from pole, De la Rosa did an excellent start and managed to get an advantage of some 7 sec. on Tora Takagi (4th on the grid), the only driver to maintain a similar pace as the leader. However, the Tyrrell tester and Nakajima protegee, had to conceed his second position to Kurosawa on lap 9 and retired later.
Safety Car had to go out on lap 17, erasing De la Rosa's gap. When the SC came in, Pedro pushed again and soon had a comfortable gap again, despite the efforts of Kurosawa who often managed to close the margin. However, Kurosawa's engine failed and Firman inherited 2nd place, some 13 sec. behind the leader. De la Rosa kept pushing and the gap was 26 sec. by the end of the race.
In five races, Pedro de la Rosa has already as much wins as Ralf Schumacher (1996 Formula Nippon champion) obtained in the whole series. Pedro has been in the rostrum at all FN races this year and he has also won a japanese GT race.The man that broke all Japanese F-3 records in 1995, seems he targets to do the same in this year's Japanese Formula 3000.
1 - Pedro M. de la Rosa Lola - Mugen Bridgestone 1h. 09'24.918 at 172.898 km/h 2 - Ralph Firman Reynard - Mugen Bridgestone 1h. 09'50.145 3 - Masahiko Kageyama Lola - Mugen Bridgestone 1h. 09'51.295 4 - Toshio Suzuki Reynard - Mugen Bridgestone 1h. 10'20.075 5 - Marco Apicella Reynard - Mugen Bridgestone 1h. 10'36.500 6 - Masami Kageyama Reynard - Mugen Bridgestone a una vuelta
Fastest Lap : Norberto Fontana in 1'12.279 at 184.498 Km/h (114.637 mph)
Provisional championship standings after 5 out of 10 races : 1 - Pedro M. de la Rosa, 40 points, 2 - Takuya Kurosawa, 22, 3 - Toranosuke Takagi, 14, 4 - Masahiko Kageyama, 12, 5 - Ralph Firman & Hidetoshi Mitsusada,10....
Next Formula Nippon race : FUJI 30-31 August
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