FNIPPON: Mine results and report

Formula Nippon Rd.2 MINE Circuit(3.23898km/lap) May 18, 1997 Weather: Sunny 1 9Pedro de la Rosa(ES) LolaT97-51/Mugen 62L 1:21'52.463(147.165km/h) 2 19Takuya Kurosawa LolaT96-52/Mugen 62L +5.549 3 10Akira...

Formula Nippon Rd.2

MINE Circuit(3.23898km/lap) May 18, 1997 Weather: Sunny

1 9Pedro de la Rosa(ES) LolaT97-51/Mugen 62L 1:21'52.463(147.165km/h) 2 19Takuya Kurosawa LolaT96-52/Mugen 62L +5.549 3 10Akira Iida LolaT97-51/Mugen 62L +5.553 4 18Ralph Firman,Jr.(GB) Reynard97D/Mugen 62L +7.125 5 33Toshio Suzuki Reinard97D/Mugen 62L +7.464 6 8Juichi Wakisaka DomeF104R/Mugen 62L +7.818 7 11Hidetoshi Mitsusada LolaT96-52/Mugen 62L +10.881 8 1Norberto Fontana(RA) Reynard97D/Mugen 61L -1 lap 9 27Masami Kageyama Reynard96D/Mugen 61L -1 lap 10 3Atsushi Kawamoto Reynard96D/Mugen 61L -1 lap 11 63Dillantha Malagamuwa(CL) Reynard96D/Mugen 58L -4 laps 12 37Masao Yamada LolaT94/Mugen 57L -5 laps 13 35Michael Krumm(D) Reynard96D/Mugen 56L -6 laps

-------------------------------DNQ----------------------------------------

     2Esteban Tuello(RA)        Reynard97D/Mugen      53L      -9 laps
    20Masahiko Kageyama         Reynard97D/Mugen      53L      -9 laps
    65Koji Yamanishi            Reynard97D/Mugen      53L      -9 laps
    28Katsumi Yamamoto@        Reynard97D/Mugen      30L     -32 laps
    55Katsutomo Kaneishi        Reynard96D/Mugen      19L     -43 laps
     5Marc Goossens(B)          Reynard96D/Judd       16L     -46 laps
    36Tetsuji Tamanaka          LolaT95/Mugen         13L     -49 laps
     6Risto Virtanen(SF)        Reynard96D/Judd        9L     -53 laps
    12Sara Kavanagh(IRL)        Reynard95D/Ford        6L     -56 laps

-------------------------------DNS----------------------------------------

    64Toranosuke Takagi         Reynard97D/Mugen   (Accident)
    17Masahiko Kondo            Reynard97D/Mugen   (Accident)
    56Satoshi Motoyama          Reynard97D/Mugen   (Clutch)

Fastest Lap: #28 Yamamoto 1'14.618(156.27km/h) on Lap 16

The original start was marred by a freak accident sending several spectators off to the hospital.

Pole man Toranosuke Takagi stalled his motor when the green light turned on. While most cars safely jinked past the stranded PIAA Nakajima Reynard, Masahiko Kondo, who had started way back on the grid, didn't quite make it.

The collision made Kondo's right front section shoot up in the air over to the crowded grandstands which is about 50 yards away.

It was pure luck that there were only a few casualties, the most severe one with a broken thigh and kidney damage.

Both Takagi and Kondo escaped with no injuries.

The chaos didn't end there.

The second start saw de la Rosa in the lead followed by Fontana, Mitsusada and Masami Kageyama.

The Spaniard quickly distanced the Argentine, and by lap 20 it was staggering seven seconds.

On lap 54, an accident involving three cars occured at the exit of the second corner. The safety car was in, whereby the massive lead de la Rosa had over Fontana was vanished. The order then was de la Rosa, Fontana, Mitsusada, Masami Kageyama, Kurosawa and Iida.

The question was when or whether the race would be resumed as the cleanup took frustratingly long.

Finally the green flag was waved on the last lap. The race is back on. Fontana took all the advantage of slipstreaming behind de la Rosa into the first corner. Fontana was a new leader, and he took the win, at least on the track.

After the podium ceremony, de la Rosa's Shionogi Nova team made a protest claiming Fontana had passed a backmarker during the pace car period.

It took the race officials two hours before they decided to turn over the results and declare de la Rosa the winner of the race.

Albeit the exciting action throughout the race, the bad taste of the accident stayed long after.

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Pedro de la Rosa , Masahiko Kondo , Tora Takagi , Michael Krumm , Marc Goossens , Toshio Suzuki , Hidetoshi Mitsusada , Ralph Firman , Satoshi Motoyama , Juichi Wakisaka , Takuya Kurosawa , Masami Kageyama , Masahiko Kageyama , Akira Iida , Tetsuji Tamanaka , Kaneishi Katsutomo , Norberto Fontana