Super Formula: Nojiri on pole at Fuji

This year has been billed as heavy hitter 3-time Super Formula champion Naoki Yamamoto vs. Ryo Hirakawa, but it was Tomoki Nojiri who took pole in the Rd. 1 qualifying at Fuji Speedway as Honda powered cars qualified 1-2-3-4.

Nojiri topped his Q1 group, while Yamamoto didn’t make it out of Q1.

Nojiri followed up on his pole in last year’s Fuji title decider by grabbing the top spot again with a best time of 1m21.173s in the Q3 pole shootout, putting himself 0.223s of nearest rival Toshiki Oyu (Nakajima Racing).

Toshiki Oyu 2nd quick

Having led the way in practice on Saturday morning, Nojiri topped both his Q1 group and Q2 on his way to a sixth career pole position.

Tatiana Calderon made it through to Q2, as Kazuki Nakajima got disqualified from Q2 for exceeding track limits. Nojiri was once again topped all drivers in Q2, heading into Q3 with an abundance of confidence.

In Q3, Nojiri did not disappoint again, capturing pole for tomorrow’s 187 km race. Finishing in P2 was Toshiki Oyu. Starting in P3 will be Ukyo Sasahara.

Nirei Fukuzumi will start in P4, Sena Sakaguchi P5, Ritomo Miyata P6, and Hirakawa in P7.

Ukyo Sasahara 3rd quick

Best of the Toyota runners was Inging rookie Sena Sakaguchi in fifth, ahead of fellow novice Ritomo Miyata (TOM’S) and 2020 title contender Ryo Hirakawa (Impul).

Hiroki Otsu (Mugen) completed the Q3 order, with Yuhi Sekiguchi (Impul) and Sho Tsuboi (Inging) taking the remaining spots inside the top 10.

Qualifying Results

Pos No. Driver Team Engine Q1 Q2 Q3
1 16 Tomoki Nojiri TEAM MUGEN HONDA/M-TEC HR-417E 1m21.994s 1m21.595s 1m21.173s
2 64 Toshiki Oyu TCS NAKAJIMA RACING HONDA/M-TEC HR-417E 1m22.140s 1m21.779s 1m21.396s
3 6 Ukyo Sasahara DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION RACING HONDA/M-TEC HR-417E 1m22.517s 1m22.000s 1m21.463s
4 5 Nirei Fukuzumi DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION RACING HONDA/M-TEC HR-417E 1m22.297s 1m22.079s 1m21.604s
5 39 Sena Sakaguchi P.MU/CERUMO・INGING TOYOTA/TRD 01F 1m22.487s 1m21.956s 1m21.714s
6 37 Ritomo Miyata Kuo VANTELIN TEAM TOMmS TOYOTA/TRD 01F 1m22.298s 1m21.975s 1m21.793s
7 20 Ryo Hirakawa carenex TEAM IMPUL TOYOTA/TRD 01F 1m22.326s 1m21.850s 1m21.804s
8 15 Hiroki Otsu Red Bull MUGEN Team Goh HONDA/M-TEC HR-417E 1m22.263s 1m22.361s 1m21.869s
9 19 Yuhi Sekiguchi carenex TEAM IMPUL TOYOTA/TRD 01F 1m22.785s 1m22.441s
10 38 Sho Tsuboi P.MU/CERUMO・INGING TOYOTA/TRD 01F 1m23.050s 1m22.552s
11 12 Tatiana Calderón ThreeBond DragoCORSE HONDA/M-TEC HR-417E 1m22.820s 1m22.584s
12 18 Yuji Kunimoto KCMG TOYOTA/TRD 01F 1m22.644s 1m22.973s
13 36 Kazuki Nakajima Kuo VANTELIN TEAM TOMmS TOYOTA/TRD 01F 1m22.333s 1m27.230s
14 7 Kazuto Kotaka KCMG TOYOTA/TRD 01F 1m23.123s 1m29.988s
15 4 Yuichi Nakayama KONDO RACING TOYOTA/TRD 01F 1m23.256s
16 1 Naoki Yamamoto TCS NAKAJIMA RACING HONDA/M-TEC HR-417E 1m23.144s
17 14 Kazuya Oshima NTT TOYOTA/TRD 01F 1m23.360s
18 3 Kenta Yamashita KONDO RACING TOYOTA/TRD 01F 1m23.189s


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