Sacha Fenestraz had to retire on the opening lap for the second Super Formula race in a row, missing out on the opportunity to turn his great qualifying performance into championship points.
Like in the previous race, Sacha was collected by a late-braking driver in to turn 1 on the opening lap. The unfortunate set of results come after Sacha became just the eighth driver in the last 30 years to claim a podium finish on his Super Formula debut.
The French-Argentinian kept up his qualifying form at Sportsland Sugo. After getting through his qualifying group, Sacha improved his time in Q2 and then again in Q3 to qualify on the second row of the grid in third position.
For the third time in as many race weekends he qualified ahead of last years Super Formula champion Nick Cassidy, two-time champion Naoki Yamamoto and three other previous champions. Sacha also qualified ahead of his team-mate at Kondo Racing, Kenta Yamashita.
At the start of the race Sacha was on the outside line going into the first corner when another driver behind locked up and went into the side of Sacha, forcing him through the gravel trap.
While Sacha was able to get back on track, he had to come into the pits to retire at the end of the lap.
Sacha believes a podium was a real possibility if it wasn’t for what happened.
« It was unfortunately another difficult weekend. Once again I got taken out at the first corner, there wasn’t much more I could have done.
« Like in the second round there was a big chance for a podium today, the overall pace of the car looks very strong. We will come back stronger for the next round. »
Sacha will have to wait until November 15th for the fourth Super Formula round to take place at Autopolis, which marks the mid-way point of the 2020 season.
However he will join back with Team Au Tom’s for two Super GT rounds. Next weekend Sacha will travel to Suzuka before racing at Twin Ring Motegi two weeks later.
Race report for immediate distribution : Tuesday 20 October 2020
Qualifying : 3rd – Sacha Fenestraz
Race : DNF – Sacha Fenestraz