SUPER FORMULA 2020 season round 4 took place at Autopolis.
It was decided that Ukyo Sasahara’s participation in TEAM MUGEN continues until the end of the season, and Ukyo determined to solve the issues with the car that occurred in the last 3 events. However, Ukyo faced a quite difficult situation again, but he worked hard together with the team and found a way to breakthrough.
DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION RACING’s Nirei Fukuzumi was qualified in 2nd place, and kept the position in the beginning of the race. Unfortunately, Nirei had a trouble during the pit stop and forced to end the race in 9th position.
It was a tough weekend again, but they contributed to the team doing their very best.
Please keep your attention on the two drivers supported by EXGEL Motorsport.
Ukyo Sasahara / TEAM MUGEN
First, I would like to thank everyone involved for giving me the opportunity to compete in the SUPER FORMULA until the end of the season. I had a bit of mixed emotions because of the car that caused incomprehensible issues, but the team had tried hard to find an essential cause before Autopolis round.
It was a pity that I realized that a tough weekend started again from the first drive in FP1. Nevertheless, in every session, everyone kept working hard to try anything for our #15 car.
Advancing to Q2 was a surprise again in such a difficult situation, even though the red flag gave me some advantage. And again, I had a trouble before starting the race. Fortunately, the engine didn’t stall and I was able to start, but I dropped to the back. When the SC was deployed, my teammate #16 was in front of me and I was indicated to stay out. As a result, I moved up to the 3rd without a pit-stop, but the tough situation continued and I was far behind the top 2 cars that had much better pace. At last, I finished 14th after the mandatory pit-stop.
Through the investigations in the last 4 rounds, the team has almost identified the cause, but it would never be easy to solve the issues. Obviously, I still need their help. I will never give up until the hard work of everyone around our #15 is rewarded, and I will give it all for that.
Big thanks to my sponsors, fans and supporters for the great support at the circuit or through live streaming, despite the difficult situations.
Nirei Fukuzumi / DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION RACING
SUPER FORMULA round 4 was held at Autopolis. I was anxious about the weather, but we were able to spend the race week with clear sky and warm temperature.
The car felt really good in FP on Saturday, and also our pace in a long-run was good. So I was confident for Qualifying.
I got through to Q3 smoothly, and qualified 2nd even with a mistake. I was a bit frustrated that I couldn’t get the pole, but at the same time, I was relieved with the result because it had been difficult for me to advance to Q3.
Before the race, we found an issue with the engine, but the team managed to deliver the car on the grid despite quite tight schedule. I appreciate their hard work.
The race started after 2 formation laps. Finishing the first racing lap in 2nd and kept my position without any issues. However we had a trouble with a pit equipment during the pit stop that dragged us down to the back. After the trouble, overtaking was not easy and I finished the race in 9th place. The result was frustrating because we had the pace and capability to win, if only without the trouble in the box.
The next race will come soon and I will never give up with the team.
See you again in the next round.