The Japanese Karting Championship 2020 OK Category round 3 – 4 and FS-125 Category East region round 3 took place at Mobara Twin Circuit East Course.
Despite rain forecast, all sessions through the weekend were completed in dry condition .
EXGEL World Challenge Programm driver Ryota Horachi, who made his first career win in the previous round at Honjo, finished qualifying practice and pre final performing better than free practice.
Ryota had a pace in final and kept his position aiming for podium, however a mechanical issue made him pull off the car in the middle of the race.
OK Category driver Yuto Nomura, the champion in the Next Cup Series for 2 consecutive years, was the quickest among the DUNLOP drivers in most of the sessions. However, 9th position in round 4 was his best result in the weekend.
Shunsuke Minagi, who once dominated the Next Cup series, struggled with pace too and couldn’t compete in the top group.
Although the results were not they had expected, the three drivers supported by EXGEL Motorsport showed great potential.
Qualifying Practice P12
Pre Final P8
I learned a lot in the previous round and was determined to win in this round.
However I didn’t have pace and struggled in free practice sessions.
In qualifying practice, I failed to use a tow and ended up P12.
My pace didn’t improve much in pre final and finished in P9, then moved up to P8 because one driver got penalized.
I concentrated on the start of final and my pace was much better than qualifying, succeeded in moving up to the top group.
Then the leader went far in front, so I was focusing to move up to the 2nd, but my race was suddenly over because the chain came off in the middle of the battle.
The result was frustrating, but I’ll stay positive for the next round in Sugo.
Qualifying Practice P11
Round 3 Pre Final P25 Final P13
Round 4 Pre Final P14 Final P9
The contact in qualifying was very disappointing because I had the pace in round 3 to finish in a good position.
So I tried to keep a positive mind for the rest of sessions.
In round 4, I was able to finish the race in the best position among the DUNLOP users, feeling happy about accomplishing my minimal target.
Thank you DUNLOP, EXGEL, my sponsors, team, mechanics, supporters and my family.
The next round SUGO is the start of the latter half of the season.
I will do my best to get on the podium.
Qualifying Practice P23
Round 3 Pre Final P12 Final P16
Round 4 Pre Final DNF Final P14
The results were quite disappointing because I won here at Mobara last year and had felt positive in the pre test.
We were competitive enough against BRIDGESTONE and YOKOHAMA on Thursday and Friday, but the track condition suddenly changed in Saturday’s qualifying practice and couldn’t adjust the set-up.
I should have stayed positive even though the situation was tough for me.
Until the next round in SUGO, I will try to improve myself to maximize my capability whatever happens in a race week.
The tires were clearly getting better after the season opener in Gotemba.
Thank you everyone in DUNLOP for developing the tires as I desire.
Now we know what we should do for further developments.
Big thanks to Keita-san and everyone in the team for the support despite tight schedule.