Press Release 86 SUZUKA Race July 6th, 1997 First win of the year for Toranosuke Takagi Pedro de la Rosa, third, increases his Championship lead. Suzuka (Jap-F3n) - Japan's Golden Boy, Toranosuke Takagi (PIAA Nakajima) has won Round 4 of...
Press Release 86 SUZUKA Race July 6th, 1997
First win of the year for Toranosuke Takagi
Pedro de la Rosa, third, increases his Championship lead.
Suzuka (Jap-F3n) - Japan's Golden Boy, Toranosuke Takagi (PIAA Nakajima) has won Round 4 of the 1997 Formula Nippon series (nee Japanese F-3000) held this morning at Suzuka circuit under extreme hot conditions (some 100-deg. F / 38-deg. C).
Starting from pole position, the popular Tora T. won from front row man Masahiko Kageyama, (Impul Racing) who despite having to defend himself from the attacks of third placed Pedro de la Rosa (Shionogi Nova Team), managed to keep Takagi within sight during all race.
Championship leader, Pedro de la Rosa went from 6th on the grid (he sufferd some mechanical problems during quailifying) to 3rd on lap 10. He then initiated a constant attack to overtake Kageyama but he was not able to do so : "I think I could have been able to go after Takagi -explained Pedro afterwards- but I really could'nt pass Kageyama. With Kurosawa (actualy second in the series) out of the points, I did'nt want to risk my third place...well, I already nearly went off few times trying to pass Kageyama !!". This however, is the fifth consecutive Formula Nippon podium finish for the Spaniard.
Britain's Ralph Firman came in 6th position showing he is mastering Formula Nippon quickly. Scoring for the second time in four races, Ralph gained few places in the Championship. French F-1 GP debutant, Argentinian Norberto -46ontana had to retire after an incident with Toshio Suzuki.
1 - Toranosuke Takagi Reynard - Honda Bridgestone 1h. 03'54.672 at 192.672 km/h. 2 - Masahiko Kageyama Lola - Mugen Bridgestone 1h. 03'58.379 3 - Pedro M. de la Rosa Lola - Mugen Bridgestone 1h. 04'00.269 4 - Hidetoshi Mitsusada Lola - Mugen Bridgestone 1h. 04'16.219 5 - Masami Kageyama Reynard - Mugen Bridgestone 1h. 04'18.602 6 - Ralph Firman Jr. Reynard - Mugen Bridgestone 1h. 04'40.549 -8A 17 clasified
-46astest lap : Masahiko Kageyama in 1'48.347 at 194,84 Km/h
Championship Standings after 4 races (out of 10) : 1 - Pedro M. de la Rosa, 30 points, 2 - Takuya Kurosawa, 22, 3 - Toranosuke Takagi, 14, 4 - Hidetoshi Mitsusada, 10, 5 - Masahiko Kageyama, 8, 6 - Akira Iida, 5, 7 - Ralph Firman, 4-8A-8A
Next Formula Nippon race : SUGO 2-3 August