Oyu tops rain-soaked first day of Suzuka Super Formula test

Nakajima Racing's Toshiki Oyu topped the times during a rain-soaked first day of Super Formula's post-season test at Suzuka.

Oyu tops rain-soaked first day of Suzuka Super Formula test
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Oyu's best time of 1m51.935s came during the first hour of the two-hour morning session, in which the day's fastest times were recorded before the weather conditions worsened in the afternoon.

It was enough to edge out Impul driver Yuhi Sekiguchi by just 0.010s, with Sekiguchi setting his best time right at the end of the session.

That pushed Sacha Fenestraz down to third place for Kondo Racing, followed by Hiroki Otsu - making his first appearance for Dandelion Racing after completing his rookie season with Mugen.

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Sena Sakaguchi (Inging) was fifth-fastest ahead of Ryo Hirakawa in the second Impul car, newly-signed TOM'S full-timer Giuliano Alesi and Dandelion regular Tadasuke Makino. 

Nobuharu Matsushita was fastest in the afternoon session for B-Max Racing, some 1.1s faster than second-placed Sakaguchi, but his 1m53.800s effort was only enough for ninth overall, a little under two seconds off the pace set by Oyu in the morning.

Nobuharu Matsushita, B-Max Racing Team

Nobuharu Matsushita, B-Max Racing Team

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

While Oyu didn't improve on his best time from earlier in the day, he did get the chance to drive teammate Naoki Yamamoto's #1 machine, with Yamamoto one of several drivers to sit out the afternoon session entirely.

Kenta Yamashita (Kondo) was 10th overall after causing the second of the day's two red flags with a spin at Turn 1 early in the afternoon.

The first stoppage came in the morning session when 2021 champion Tomoki Nojiri suffered an off at the hairpin, costing the Mugen driver valuable track time and restricting him to 18th overall.

Kazuki Nakajima shared the solo Rookie Racing entry with Kazuya Oshima just one day on after announcing his retirement as a racing driver in Toyota's 2022 motorsport presentation, logging the 15th-fastest time.

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Nirei Fukuzumi was 16th-fastest in his first day of running for the minnow Drago Corse team, where he is expected to race next season after finishing runner-up in the 2021 standings for Dandelion.

Super Formula Lights race winner Ren Sato was 19th driving Mugen's #15 car, while Atsushi Miyake was the only other rookie in action, sharing the #18 KCMG machine with Yuji Kunimoto and propping up the timesheets in 21st place.

Testing continues on Wednesday with two more sessions, before Thursday morning's rookie-only running.

Suzuka testing times:

Pos. Driver Team/Engine Morning Afternoon
1 Japan Toshiki Oyu Nakajima/Honda 1'51.935 1'55.974
2 Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi Impul/Toyota 1'51.945 no time
3 France Sacha Fenestraz Kondo/Toyota 1'52.322 1'55.232
4 Japan Hiroki Otsu Dandelion/Honda 1'52.338 1'55.261
5 Japan Sena Sakaguchi Inging/Toyota 1'52.470 1'54.901
6 Japan Ryo Hirakawa Impul/Toyota 1'52.473 1'56.059
7 France Giuliano Alesi TOM'S/Toyota 1'52.558 1'55.544
8 Japan Tadasuke Makino Dandelion/Honda 1'52.875 1'55.087
9 Japan Nobuharu Matsushita B-Max/Honda 1'52.879 1'53.800
10 Japan Kenta Yamashita Kondo/Toyota 1'52.892 1'54.916
11 Japan Ritomo Miyata TOM'S/Toyota 1'53.262 1'56.005
12 Japan Kamui Kobayashi KCMG/Toyota 1'53.316 1'55.833
13 Japan Naoki Yamamoto Nakajima/Honda 1'53.861 no time
14 Japan Sho Tsuboi Inging/Toyota 1'53.864 1'56.716
15 Japan Kazuki Nakajima Rookie/Toyota 1'54.074 no time
16 Japan Nirei Fukuzumi Drago Corse/Honda 1'54.696 1'55.674
17 Japan Yuji Kunimoto KCMG/Toyota 1'55.013 no time
18 Japan Tomoki Nojiri Mugen/Honda 1'56.773
19 Japan Ren Sato Mugen/Honda 1'56.579 1'59.925
20 Japan Kazuya Oshima Rookie/Toyota no time
21 Japan Atsushi Miyake KCMG/Toyota no time 1'58.979

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