Fukuzumi quickest in third Fuji test session

Jamie Klein
motorsport.com

Ex-GP3 and Formula 2 racer Fukuzumi left it until the final two minutes of the extended 130-minute Wednesday morning session to move to the top of the times, posting a 1m20.785s on fresh tyres to move clear of fellow Honda runner Tomoki Nojiri.

That was just over a tenth slower than Ryo Hirakawa's best time on Tuesday afternoon.

The second day of running at Fuji started one hour later than it did on Tuesday, leading to a smoother start of the session that was only interrupted by one red flag.

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That came at the 35-minute mark when Tadasuke Makino's Nakajima Racing machine ground to a halt exiting Turn 2 with an electrical failure.

At that point Sacha Fenestraz (Kondo Racing) had been leading the way on a 1m21.833s, which remained the time to beat until Nojiri (Mugen) went quickest at the one-hour mark with a 1m21.775s, which he quickly improved to a 1m21.509s.

Hirakawa, the fastest driver in both of Tuesday's sessions, took over at the top of the times with less than 30 minutes to run with a 1m21.203s, but unlike many of his rivals the Impul Toyota driver did not improve at the very end of the session.

Just before the chequered flag, Nojiri briefly retook the top spot with a 1m20.942s before being outpaced by Fukuzumi to the tune of 0.157s.

Hirakawa stayed third, 0.418s off the pace, while two Honda-powered rookies completed the top five, Toshiki Oyu (Nakajima) and Nojiri's Mugen teammate Juri Vips.

Defending champion Nick Cassidy was sixth-fastest in the second best of the Toyota-powered entries, leading TOM'S stablemate Kazuki Nakajima and Sho Tsuboi (Inging).

Fenestraz slipped to ninth in the final order ahead of Kondo teammate Kenta Yamashita.

Naoki Yamamoto (Dandelion) was only 13th-fastest and 1.347s adrift of Fukuzumi, while Makino ended up 16th after his dramas, only completing one more installation lap.

Super Formula novices Sergio Sette Camara (B-Max/Motopark) and Tatiana Calderon (Drago Corse) were 11th and 20th respectively, both improving on their Tuesday times.

Session results:

1

6

Japan
Japan

 Nirei Fukuzumi

Dandelion/Honda

1m20.785s

 

2

16

Japan
Japan

 Tomoki Nojiri

Mugen/Honda

1m20.942s

0.157s

3

20

Japan
Japan

 Ryo Hirakawa

Impul/Toyota

1m21.203s

0.418s

4

65

Japan
Japan

 Toshiki Oyu

Nakajima/Honda

1m21.596s

0.811s

5

15

Estonia
Estonia

 Juri Vips

Mugen/Honda

1m21.620s

0.835s

6

1

New Zealand
New Zealand

 Nick Cassidy

TOM'S/Toyota

1m21.623s

0.838s

7

36

Japan
Japan

 Kazuki Nakajima

TOM'S/Toyota

1m21.710s

0.925s

8

39

Japan
Japan

 Sho Tsuboi

Inging/Toyota

1m21.729s

0.944s

9

4

France
France

 Sacha Fenestraz

Kondo/Toyota

1m21.783s

0.998s

10

3

Japan
Japan

 Kenta Yamashita

Kondo/Toyota

1m21.791s

1.006s

11

50

Brazil
Brazil

 Sergio Sette Camara

B-Max/Honda

1m21.856s

1.071s

12

38

Japan
Japan

 Hiroaki Ishiura

Inging/Toyota

1m22.042s

1.257s

13

5

Japan
Japan

 Naoki Yamamoto

Dandelion/Honda

1m22.132s

1.347s

14

7

Japan
Japan

 Kamui Kobayashi

KCMG/Toyota

1m22.212s

1.427s

15

18

Japan
Japan

 Yuji Kunimoto

KCMG/Toyota

1m22.236s

1.451s

16

64

Japan
Japan

 Tadasuke Makino

Nakajima/Honda

1m22.259s

1.474s

17

51

France
France

 Charles Milesi

B-Max/Honda

1m22.270s

1.485s

18

14

Japan
Japan

 Kazuya Oshima

Inging/Toyota

1m22.285s

1.500s

19

19

Japan
Japan

 Yuhi Sekiguchi

Impul/Toyota

1m22.534s

1.749s

20

12

Colombia
Colombia

 Tatiana Calderon

Drago Corse/Honda

1m23.111s

2.326s

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