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Super Formula Preview: Round 3 - Sportsland Sugo

Written by Tarun Suresh, Edited by Meghana Sree

After a month since the thriller that was round two at Autopolis, Super Formula returns, this time at Sportsland Sugo situated in the town of Murata in the Miyagi prefecture. The circuit packs 12 corners and 3.7 kilometres, with 51 laps of close racing action.

Last race weekend saw a disappointing result for the co-championship leader Tomoki Nojiri who finished a lowly ninth place, only bagging two points.

Nojiri has historically performed quite amazingly at this circuit. If he does replicate one of his past performances, which is not all that unlikely, we could see him leaving Sportsland Sugo as the sole leader of the standings. 

Nojiri’s past performances at this circuit should definitely be no grounds to discount the other championship leader Tadasuke Makino. He has been finishing and qualifying towards the upper end of the field at this circuit as well, most notably finishing third behind Nojiri and Miyata. 

Without a doubt, a decent amount of attention will be on the Formula 2 graduate Ayuma Iwasa who is only three points behind the championship leader. He has been making up for his lack of experience with amazing pace, albeit not as consistently as is expected from him.

He showed exactly what he’s capable of during qualifying at Autopolis, especially with the second half of his pole-setting lap. It will be exciting to see what he brings to the table this time around. 

Naoki Yamamoto and Kenta Yamashita are also closely following the aforementioned drivers in the standings, and will be ones to keep an eye out for. They don’t have the track record here that Nojiri and Makino do but they can still be major players throughout the weekend.

The championship standings are still incredibly close, with the top six only separated by seven points. There’s still a lot to play for this early on in the season and it will be something to eagerly look forward to. 

Qualifying for the upcoming round takes place at 14:00 JST on Saturday, with the race set to start at 14:30 JST on Sunday.


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