Suzuka Super Formula: Kunimoto takes points lead with Race 1 win

Inging’s Yuji Kunimoto reclaimed the Super Formula points lead after winning the penultimate race of the season at Suzuka.

At the start of the race Kunimoto made a better getaway than polesitter Hiroaki Ishiura, who also got beaten off the line by a fast-starting Andre Lotterer.

Meanwhile, erstwhile points leader Yuki Sekiguchi was making plenty of headway from 13th on the grid, having propelled himself into the top 10 on the opening lap of the race.

The Impul driver then dispatched teammate Joao Paulo de Oliveira, before setting off on a charge after McLaren protégé Stoffel Vandoorne.

The two drivers made contact on Lap 15, with Sekiguchi forcing Vandoorne into a spin and dropping the Belgian to the rear of the pack.

At the front, Kunimoto was unchallenged for victory, the Inging driver bagging eight points to take the lead in the drivers' standings.

Lotterer and Ishiura finished in second and third places respectively, while Dandelion’s Tomoki Nojiri fended off an early challenge from Kazuki Nakajima to claim the fourth spot.

Bertrand Baguette was classified sixth, ahead of the lead Drago Corse entry of Takashi Kogure.

Sekiguchi was eighth, while de Oliveira and Kamui Kobayashi completed the top 10.

UPDATE: Sekiguchi was handed a 30-second penalty for causing a collision, promoting de Oliveira to the final points-paying position.

Race 1: 

1  Yuji Kunimoto INGING  -
2  Andre Lotterer TOM’S  1.772
3  Hiroaki Ishiura INGING  13.087
4  Tomoki Nojiri DANDELION 22.140
5  Kazuki Nakajima TOM’S 24.143
6  Bertrand Baguette NAKAJIMA  24.951
7  Takashi Kogure DRAGO CORSE 27.087
8 Oliveira TEAM IMPUL 36.271
9  Kamui Kobayashi TEAM LEMANS 36.539
10  Daisuke Nakajima NAKAJIMA 36.811
11  Koudai Tsukakoshi REAL 37.446
12  James Rossiter KONDO 37.904
13  William Buller KONDO 42.761
14  Yuichi Nakayama KCMG  43.071
15  Narain Karthikeyan TEAM LEMANS 43.301
16  Takuya Izawa REAL  47.440
17  Stoffel Vandoorne DANDELION 48.282
18  Yuhi Sekiguchi TEAM IMPUL 1'05.359
19  Naoki Yamamoto TEAM MUGEN 1 Lap
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About this article
Series Super Formula
Event Suzuka II
Track Suzuka
Drivers Yuji Kunimoto
Article type Race report