A ray of hope for Naoki Yamamoto in Sogo

Yamamoto was going by his worst interval in Tremendous System since becoming a member of Nakajima Racing firstly of the 2021 season, ending thirteenth within the championship final yr with simply 13 factors.

The beginning of the second season with Satoru Nakajima’s crew of the identical title was additionally poor, with the 33-year-old scoring simply two factors within the opening 4 races of the yr and struggling to interrupt into the second quarter within the playoffs.

However final weekend’s Sugo Tour lastly supplied a glimmer of hope as Yamamoto set a formidable time of 1m05.148 seconds to high Group One qualifying, incomes a spot throughout the high 12 for under the second time this season.

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A mistake on his final lap within the second quarter meant he ended up on the slowest, eleventh place on the web after a Nobuharu Matsushita penalty, however Yamamoto nonetheless was inspired by his greatest qualifying efficiency since Motegi final yr, when he secured a spot on high. Row on a moist monitor.

“We made plenty of progress in getting the very best time within the first quarter and highlighting the situation of the automotive, and if we will proceed to drive at this degree, I feel the outcomes will come,” Yamamoto stated.

“It is irritating that we did not get a outcome this time, however I feel Q1 was a great qualifying session. I must get outcomes after I’m in fine condition.”

Naoki Yamamoto, TCS NAKAJIMA RACING

Naoki Yamamoto, TCS NAKAJIMA RACING

Pictures: Masahid Kamyo

Though in-form Mugen Honda’s Tomoki Nojiri was in a special league within the playoffs as he took fourth in a row with a strong time of 1m04.349s, almost four-tenths of his nearest competitor, there wasn’t a lot to separate the drivers from second to Second. X on the community.

Yamamoto felt he may have made an enormous enchancment on his efforts within the first quarter had he been capable of put collectively a clear lap, explaining that he wasted time by a Hello-Level nook with soiled tires after going off the monitor on the S curve.

“I ought to have been capable of get to the vary of 1m04s,” he stated. “I feel I may have gotten into the 1m04s vary. However I did not really put the lap collectively.

“Nojiri was by far the quickest, and in the mean time not in hand, however I did not assume I might have the ability to do 1m05.1s in Q1. I need to preserve that good kind and never stray off the overwhelmed path.”

Come to the race, Yamamoto was fortunate to keep away from any injury or penalty for colliding with Kondo Racing’s Kenta Yamashita within the first flip, however his race was successfully ruined when Nakajima Racing by accident personalized a tire for teammate Toshiki Oyo to his automotive, forcing him to dig as soon as seconds within the largest variety of cycles.

The additional cease dropped him properly off the rankings and he ultimately completed twelfth, and he has held fourth with no factors for the yr in 5 races.

Talking after the race, Yamamoto admitted he wanted to qualify above the grid to enhance his points-finishing odds, having proven he might be quick one lap in Q1.

“Trying on the outcomes alone, the race was not going properly and I could not put all of it collectively, however lastly I used to be capable of get to the entrance in qualifying,” he stated.

Naoki Yamamoto, TCS NAKAJIMA RACING

Naoki Yamamoto, TCS NAKAJIMA RACING

Pictures: Masahid Kamyo

“It was the primary time we have used this setup, so I have been messing round a bit, however we’ll type issues out and transfer on to the subsequent race.

“As for this race, in case you are into it [midfield] The group, it is a powerful struggle even when your tempo is nice. If I had been capable of race a little bit nearer to the entrance, I feel the race would have turned out in another way.

“This time I made a mistake in qualifying and it price me that, so subsequent time I will do my greatest to qualify properly.”

Oyo earned Nakajima Racing’s first podium end of the season in Sugo in second place, having certified for fifth.