Okayama Super Formula: Sekiguchi holds off Ishiura for victory

Former Japanese Formula 3 champion Yuhi Sekiguchi fended off a late attack from Hiroaki Ishiura to win the second of the two Okayama Super Formula races on Sunday.

Okayama Super Formula: Sekiguchi holds off Ishiura for victory
Hiroaki Ishiura, Cerumo Inging
Yuhi Sekiguchi, Team Impul
Yuhi Sekiguchi, Team Impul
Felix Rosenqvist, Team LeMans
Pierre Gasly, Team Mugen
Takuya Izawa, Dandelion Racing

At the start of the race, Ishiura led Kenta Yamashita from pole position, with Saturday winner Andre Lotterer moving up a place to third.

At the end of Lap 1, nearly half the field dived into the pits to get the mandatory stop out of the way, with another handful of drivers joining them in the next five laps.

This pack was led by Sekiguchi, with Lotterer, Takuya Izawa and Pierre Gasly also among the early stoppers.

Meanwhile, Ishiura, Yamashita and Felix Rosenqvist stayed out for longer and provisionally occupied the top three spots.

As the race wore on, the advantage started to shift towards Sekiguchi, who was able to lap much quicker than the drivers who were yet to pit.

When Ishiura finally came in for his stop on Lap 34, his 25s gap proved insufficient to hold on to the lead.

However, the fight between the two Japanese drivers wasn’t settled just yet, with a Safety Car - deployed after Izawa crashed out on his own - reducing the gap between them down to nothing.

The Safety Car appearance provided a thrilling finish to the race with Sekiguchi just holding off Ishiura for victory despite being on older tyres.

Behind the top two, Lotterer prevailed in an equally thrilling duel with Rosenqvist for third to take the lead in the drivers’ standings.

Rosenqvist, who started on 15th on the grid, waited until the Safety Car to make a pitstop to end up in a strong fourth place.

Ex-F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi finished fifth to round off a strong weekend for KCMG, with Kondo’s Yamashita finishing another two seconds adrift in sixth.

Red Bull junior Gasly was classified as the top Honda driver in seventh, while 2013 champion Naoki Yamamoto bagged the final championship point with an eighth place finish.

Race 2 Results:

PosDriverCar Name / EngineGap
1  Yuhi Sekiguchi Impul-Toyota -
2  Hiroaki Ishiura Inging-Toyota 0.408
3  Andre Lotterer TOM'S-Toyota 2.586
4  Felix Rosenqvist Team LeMans 3.252
5  Kamui Kobayashi KCMG-Toyota  5.922
6  Kenta Yamashita Kondo-Toyota  8.034
7  Pierre Gasly Mugen-Honda 10.233
8  Naoki Yamamoto Mugen-Honda 14.287
9  Yuji Kunimoto Inging-Toyota 17.087
10  Tomoki Nojiri Dandelion-Honda 17.732
11  Nick Cassidy Kondo-Toyota 18.617
12  Kazuya Oshima Team LeMans-Toyota 19.080
13  Narain Karthikeyan Nakajima-Honda 19.570
14  Daisuke Nakajima Nakajima-Honda 20.400
15  Takashi Kogure B-Max Racing team 21.089
16  Koudai Tsukakoshi REAL SF-Honda  21.558
17  Jann Mardenborough Impul-Toyota 22.192
18  Kazuki Nakajima TOM'S-Toyota 23.124
-  Takuya Izawa Dandelion- 14 Laps
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