Yamamoto tops first day of Fuji test after switching teams

Naoki Yamamoto topped the opening day of post-season Super Formula testing at Fuji Speedway following his surprise switch to Nakajima Racing.

Yamamoto tops first day of Fuji test after switching teams
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Just two days on from winning his third title for Dandelion Racing, it was revealed that Yamamoto would be moving across to fellow Honda outfit Nakajima - which which he made his series debut back in 2010 - for the two-day test.

He proceeded to top the times in the closing stages of the first two-hour session with an effort of 1m20.338s, which left him 0.163s clear of sole Mugen driver Tomoki Nojiri.

Yamamoto's benchmark was not headed during the afternoon session, which was topped by his full-season teammate Nirei Fukuzumi, Dandelion's only driver for the test.

Fukuzumi left until the final few minutes of the day to post his best time of 1m20.487s, leaving him second overall ahead of Nojiri.

Toshiki Oyu came close to making it a clean sweep for Nakajima but was demoted to second, and fourth overall, by Fukuzumi's late effort.

Sho Tsuboi was best of the Toyota-powered drivers with the fourth-quickest time of the afternoon and the fifth-quickest overall, closely followed by Super Formula Lights champion Ritomo Miyata - who is replacing Nick Cassidy at TOM'S for the test.

Tatiana Calderon was at one stage second-quickest in the afternoon behind Fukuzumi, but ended up a creditable seventh overall for the one-car Drago Corse team.

Completing the top 10 were Ryo Hirakawa, Impul's only runner for the test, Kazuki Nakajima (TOM'S) and Inging newcomer Sena Sakaguchi, who replaces Hiroaki Ishiura.

Enaam Ahmed(Buzz Racing with B-Max)

Enaam Ahmed(Buzz Racing with B-Max)

Photo by: Tomohiro Yoshita

Of the other rookies, Enaam Ahmed was 16th-fastest for B-Max Racing with Motopark, a little under two seconds off the pace, ahead of Shunsuke Kohno, who shared Inging's 'Rookie Racing'-branded third car with regular driver Kazuya Oshima.

Bringing up the rear were two gentleman drivers, Nobuhiro Imada and B-Max owner 'Dragon', or Ryuji Kumita, who shared the squad's second entry over the course of the day.

Testing continues with two more two-hour sessions on Wednesday.

Fuji testing times:

Pos. Driver Team/Engine Morning Afternoon
1 Japan Naoki Yamamoto Nakajima/Honda 1m20.338s 1m20.954s
2 Japan Nirei Fukuzumi
Dandelion/Honda 1m20.706s 1m20.487s
3 Japan Tomoki Nojiri Mugen/Honda 1m20.501s 1m20.802s
4 Japan Toshiki Oyu
Nakajima/Honda 1m20.962s 1m20.648s
5 Japan Sho Tsuboi
Inging/Toyota 1m20.973s 1m20.838s
6 Japan Ritomo Miyata
TOM'S/Toyota 1m21.853s 1m20.850s
7 Colombia Tatiana Calderon
Drago Corse/Honda 1m21.588s 1m20.935s
8 Japan Ryo Hirakawa
Impul/Toyota 1m21.404s 1m21.252s
9 Japan Kazuki Nakajima TOM'S/Toyota 1m21.380s 1m21.433s
10 Japan Sena Sakaguchi Inging/Toyota 1m21.393s 1m21.441s
11 Japan Kazuya Oshima Inging/Toyota no time 1m21.434s
12 France Sacha Fenestraz Kondo/Toyota 1m22.013s 1m21.520s
13 Japan Yuji Kunimoto
KCMG/Toyota 1m22.108s 1m21.560s
14 Japan Kenta Yamashita Kondo/Toyota 1m21.588s 1m21.592s
15 Japan Kamui Kobayashi
KCMG/Toyota 1m22.704s 1m22.010s
16 United Kingdom Enaam Ahmed
B-Max/Honda 1m23.389s
17 Japan Shunsuke Kohno Inging/Toyota 1m23.003s no time
18 Japan Nobuhiro Imada B-Max/Honda 1m24.571s no time
19 Japan 'Dragon'
B-Max/Honda no time 1m25.580s

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