June 29, 2015
NISSAN Motor Co., Ltd.
June 27-28 Okayama International Circuit (Okayama Prefecture)
Rounds 10-11 of the All Japan F3 Championship were held at the Okayama International Circuit where Nissan's #23 Mitsunori Takaboshi grabbed 2 consecutive victories, and #22 Lucas Ordonez also achieved 3rd place podium finishes in both races.
Round 10 podium
Round 11 final race
At the F3 tournament held at Okayama International Circuit one month ago, Ordonez achieved his first F3 podium and Takaboshi also managed consecutive 3rd place finishes. For the team it is a circuit to which they feel well suited. With Takaboshi securing 2nd place on the grid and Ordonez 4th in both races' qualifying sessions, they were in a very good starting position to aim for the podium.
The final race for round 10 began in the afternoon of the 27th (Sat). Both Takaboshi and Ordonez performed outstanding starts to climb up one position, putting Takaboshi in the lead and Ordonez in 3rd. With almost no difference between the lap times of the top running 4 machines, the opening stages of the race progressed with these 4 vehicles ticking off laps in close succession. While there was no change in the order, at the race's midpoint, race-leader Takaboshi and his rival running in 2nd, both began re-writing the fastest lap time and pulled away from the rest of the competition. Pushing hard right until the end, ultimately Takaboshi marked down the best time and achieved his first victory since the opening round. To his rear, Ordonez carried out a stern defense of his 3rd place position. With this he achieved his second F3 podium.
Starting again from 2nd on the grid for round 11, Takaboshi immediately passed the lead car at the first corner. As with the previous day, Ordonez got off to a good start but was unfortunately unable to achieve another swift leap up in position. However, he was handed another chance when the safety car was dispatched in lap 4. After carefully warming up his tires during the safety car's lead, following the restart of the race, Ordonez began to engage in a close fight with the machine in front, right from the first corner. This two-car battle was decided at the exit of corner 2 where Ordonez jumped into the 3rd spot. The race then proceeded with Takaboshi in the lead and Ordonez in 3rd and although there were periods where the chasing competition began to close the gap and threaten from behind, both drivers refused to show any opening. After steadfastly completing all 25 laps, Takaboshi had achieved 2 consecutive wins following on from the previous day, and Ordonez had also achieved successive 3rd place finishes.
Mitsunori Takaboshi (Round 10 1st / Round 11 1st)
"Although I wasn't able to grab pole position in either race, there wasn't much difference in our driving pace and so I knew that if I could just get out in front at the start I had more than a fighting chance at taking victory. I was able to get off to good starts and jump into the lead in both races, which allowed me to achieve consecutive wins. However, the fastest lap fell out of my grasp by a narrow margin, which is disappointing, and in the second half of round 11 my pace wasn't that good. So it was still a weekend where I became aware of things that I need to improve on. Still, these were my first victories for a while, and consecutive ones at that, so I'm pretty happy."
Lucas Ordonez (Round 10 3rd / Round 11 3rd)
"Although I managed pretty good starts for both races, on Sunday I wasn't able to raise my position. When the safety car came out though, it gave me an opportunity to overtake. I've raced lot at Okayama for the SUPER GT, tests and so on, so I have a firm grasp of the overtaking points and how to drive fast here. I'm really happy that I was able to join Takaboshi on the podium the entire weekend and it's a great result for the whole team. I want to work really hard to maintain this momentum at Fuji.
|1||23||B-MAX NDDP F3||Mitsunori Takaboshi||25'35.310|
|2||36||PETRONAS TOM'S F312||Kenta Yamashita||0.870|
|3||22||B-MAX NDDP F3||Lucas Ordonez||3.307|
|Pos||No||Machine||Driver||Time / Behind|
|1||23||B-MAX NDDP F3||Mitsunori Takaboshi||39'59.228|
|2||36||PETRONAS TOM'S F312||Kenta Yamashita||0.477|
|3||22||B-MAX NDDP F3||Lucas Ordonez||2.260|
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