F3

Japan: Jonny Reid Sugo race report

KIWI JONNY REID ON PODIUM IN JAPANESE FORMULA 3 New Zealand racer Jonny Reid has enjoyed a strong weekend in the latest rounds of the Japanese Formula 3 Championship at Sugo in the far north of Japan with a second-place in one of the ...

KIWI JONNY REID ON PODIUM IN JAPANESE FORMULA 3

New Zealand racer Jonny Reid has enjoyed a strong weekend in the latest rounds of the Japanese Formula 3 Championship at Sugo in the far north of Japan with a second-place in one of the races.

Reid, who raced last year in the Euro 3000 championship, made the move to Japan at the last moment before the 2005 season commenced and the Aucklander has already been setting some impressive results.

In the fifth and sixth rounds held on the weekend, Reid took his new Dome chassis powered by a Toyota engine to pole position for the first race only to have the time taken away due to a yellow flag infringement.

He still was able to start from second place, a position he held to the finish of race 1, setting a lap record on the way in his INGING team machine.

In the second race he led for the first seven laps before being nudged from behind and dropping to 10th. He charged back through the field to take sixth position.

"It's only our first race with the new car so we learnt plenty of things on the weekend," said Reid.

"We're on a big learning curve to get the results we did, I was pretty stoked about. We don't have the knowledge of the setups for the newer car so the more time we have the better we'll get.

"I took pole for the first race but the officials said I'd set the time on a lap when there were yellow flags out for a car that had crashed. I didn't see any flags to be honest, but I had to take their decision, which put me onto the other side of the front row because they took my best lap time away.

"The incident in race two was really what you would put down to a racing incident. I got touched into a gradual spin rather than just plain crashed into. It shouldn't have happened but I can't change it now."

The weekend's results vault Reid up the order in the championship chase. He now sits in the top six in the championship.

After a season racing in Europe, Reid had hoped to contest either the Renault World Series or GP2 though a sponsor that didn't eventuate in time meant a change of plans and Jonny's mentor Graham Watson was able to arrange a test with INGING, last year's Japanese F3 championship-winning team.

Reid is teammates in a three-car team with Brazilian Roberto Streit and Japanese driver Hideto Yasuoka. The three share an apartment in Tokuyama at the lower end of Japan. Last year's champion, Ronnie Quintarelli, acts as driver coach for the trio.

The Kiwi began the series in a 2003-model Dallara chassis and finished seventh and sixth in the first two races at Motegi in April.

He backed this up with a seventh and fifth at Suzuka's next race weekend before heading to Sugo much happier by having a newer car and more experience under his belt.

The Japanese Formula 3 Championship was won by Australian James Courtney in 2003 and has been a successful launching pad for future Formula 1 talent.

The next race weekend, which each constitute two rounds, will be on June 4- 5 at Fuji Speedway. There are a total of 20 rounds of the series over 10 race weekends and the category runs alongside the well-known Formula Nippon category.

-jrm-

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Series F3
Drivers James Courtney , Ronnie Quintarelli , Jonny Reid , Roberto Streit , Hideto Yasuoka