The winner of the Formula Nippon championship 1999 will not be know until the final race at Suzuka (14 November). The Dutch title contender, Tom Coronel, needed a victory to clinch the title. He started the race over 45 laps from third place.
The winner of the Formula Nippon championship 1999 will not be know until the final race at Suzuka (14 November). The Dutch title contender, Tom Coronel, needed a victory to clinch the title. He started the race over 45 laps from third place. Victory however went to Satoshi Motoyama who cut back Tom's lead to just four points.
In practice Coronel was always on top, but in the session that counted most he lost out. In the decisive second qualifying session he had to allow Satoshi Motoyama and his teammate Hidetoshi Mitsusada to end up in front of him. "The start was not too bad for me" , Tom started his story of the race. "Ryo Michigami surprised everybody with a rocketstart. He took all the risk he could take and even polesitter Motoyama was caught out by him. So it was Michigami ahead of Motoyama and me. My teammate dropped back to fifth after the start. Until 15 laps before the end the situation remained unchanged. Then Motoyama placed an attack to Michigami and took the lead. Now I was behind Michigami but I didn't manage to pass him. Of course the last thing I wanted was to take too much risk and end the race in the graveltrap. So now we all have to wait until the final race at Suzuka in six weeks time", Coronel concluded afterwards.
Also Tom looked back a little to the practice sessions. "At first we were well on top but we blew it in the second session. We chose for the same setup we used at Mine, very little wing and new tyres, but the result was that we had no grip at all. The setup didn't work at all. We needed more wing to set a good time. All in all it cost us too much time and also our pole position. In the end it was an exciting weekend but unfortunately we were not able to clinch the title. It must be clear to everybody that we are absolutely going for this in the final race. For this reason we will have some extensive tests at Suzuka. Really nothing must be left to guess or to coincidence. I am ready for the showdown and I am optimistic for a good result" Tom Coronel is sponsored this year by Marlboro, Mobil 1 Fitkorn, Mc Gregor Bridgestone and Honda.
Suzuka, 3 October 1999 - http://www.coronel.nl
Results 9th race Formula Nippon: Motegi: 1 Satoshi Motoyama (Le Mans) 1h14m29.671s; 2. Ryo Michigami (Mooncraft) + 2.261s; 3. TOM CORONEL (Nakajima) + 5.681s; 4. Masami Kageyama (Impul) + 6.976s; 5. Hidetoshi Mitsusada (Nakajima) + 14.703s 6. Yuji Tachikawa (Cerumo) + 15.387s.
Standings after 9 races in Formula Nippon: 1. Tom Coronel 50 ; 2. Satoshi Motoyama 46; 3. Hidetoshi Mitsusada 31; 4. Peter Dumbreck 16; 5. Masami Kageyama 14; 6. Michael Krumm / Juichi Wakisaka 12 .