carrozzeria Team KCMG recovers well to score points in Okayama

carrozzeria Team KCMG recovers well to score points in Okayama

30.09.2020: After a difficult qualifying session, carrozzeria Team KCMG’s Yuji Kunimoto recovered to score good points at the second round of the 2020 Super Formula season from Okayama.


After a difficult qualifying session, carrozzeria Team KCMG’s Yuji Kunimoto recovered to score good points at the second round of the 2020 Super Formula season from Okayama.




From 18th on the grid, the 2016 series champion launched off the line and immediately began making up places, avoiding the opening lap calamities to emerge 11th. The former Pacific Grand Prix venue saw the return of the mandatory tyre change, giving the team multiple options for bringing Kunimoto back through the field.
 


Opting to extend the first stint for as long as possible, the 2016 Okayama race winner put in competitive laps in clear air before making his pit stop with two laps remaining, rejoining in seventh to score the squad’s first points of the season.
 


Team-mate Yuichi Nakayama, standing in for Kamui Kobayashi who is in quarantine as required by the Japanese government’s COVID-19 travel guidelines following the 24 Hours of Le Mans, had an unfortunate race. The Super GT GT500 race winner showed good speed in his wildcard appearance, qualifying 12th and just 0.1 seconds away from making it into the top eight in Q3.
 


However, on the opening lap of the race Nakayama’s car received damage which hindered his pace. The 2013 Japanese Formula 3 champion pushed on to the chequered flag however, narrowly missing out on a points finish in 11th.


 

 

Kamui Kobayashi will return to the #7 car for the third round of the season from Sportsland Sugo on 17-18 October.



 


Yuji Kunimoto:
“We tried many different set-ups during free practice, we changed it a lot for qualifying but ultimately the balance wasn’t what I wanted and I found it difficult to adapt to. Qualifying down in 18th is of course not where we should be.


It seemed like it would be a tough race but I had a good start, jumping up seven places on the first lap. Once I cleared the traffic, I could run in free air until the end. Coming up through the order to score some points was great, so hopefully if we qualify well at Sugo we can achieve even stronger results.”
 



Yuichi Nakayama:
“We found quite a good set-up for qualifying and I was confident we had the pace to make it into Q3. I was a bit unlucky right before my final run in Q2, I got traffic so I had to slow down and the tyres cooled off which meant I couldn’t push in sector one of my hot lap.


The rest of the lap was good but we were still just 0.1 seconds away from the top eight. Unfortunately I picked up some damage at the start and I couldn’t really push so we finished 11th, just one position away from the points. I haven’t done a proper Super Formula campaign since 2016 so I’m pretty happy with my performance. Thanks to the team for this opportunity.”

Ryuji Doi, KCMG Head of Motorsport: “A mixed bag this weekend. In qualifying we struggled on Yuji’s side but made a very strong comeback in the race, so it is very clear where our focus should be for the next race at Sugo. Yuichi settled in well and was quick in qualifying. It’s a shame he had contact on the first lap because we could have finished with two cars in the points. Now we look forward to Sugo in three weeks.”




 
KCMG, also photos


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30.09.2020 / MaP

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