KC Motorgoup Ltd. enjoyed strong pace at the two-race Super Formula event at Fuji Speedway, despite results not going their way.
KCMG driver Yuichi Nakayama ended both of Friday’s practice sessions in the top ten, taking the blue and white Dallara SF14 to a fastest time of 1:24.786 in the second session. He could not repeat his pace in qualifying, however, having to settle for 14th in race one and 11th in race 2 after failing to make it out of Q2.
Race one saw Nakayama make a brilliant start, picking off his rivals before a collision with Vitantonio Liuzzi caused a puncture and forced the rookie to make an unscheduled pit stop, costing valuable time. When back on track, Nakayama was right on the pace, logging the fifth fastest lap of the race, but could not work his way up through traffic and had to settle for 13th.
Nakayama showed yet more pace in race two, working his way towards the front before a slow pit stop and a stalled engine put him right back down the order and in the end came across the line in 16th.
“It’s quite disappointing as this was not the result that we wanted in Fuji,” said Nakayama. “Nonetheless, the pace that we had throughout the weekend was encouraging and I’m confident that points are possible as we are at the same pace as the top drivers in the series. I’m taking the positives from this weekend and will try harder at the next round in July.”
“We started the race weekend strongly and overall, the team has made significant progress with Nakayama,” said KCMG Japan General Manager Ryuji Doi. “He has proven his tenacity and that he can compete alongside the fastest drivers in the field. There are still areas that we need to improve on but this does not dampen our confidence to challenge for victory.”