Team KCMG score points at Super Formula season opener at Fuji

Team KCMG score points at Super Formula season opener at Fuji

07.04.2021: Team KCMG scored points in the first race of the 2021 Super Formula season at the Fuji Speedway, with Yuji Kunimoto moving through the field to finish eighth.


Team KCMG scored points in the first race of the 2021 Super Formula season at the Fuji Speedway, with Yuji Kunimoto moving through the field to finish eighth.

 


2016 Super Formula champion Kunimoto qualified 12th and got a terrific start, picking up several places on the first lap of the race. Some excellent work by the team in the pit lane had the #18 car back on track in a solid position.
 


Kunimoto’s pace improved as rain started to fall late in the race and he was within touching distance of the cars in front, but the track dried before he could take any positions, meaning he crossed the line eighth and took three championship points.
 


Kazuto Kotaka showed promise on his Super Formula debut. The Toyota junior impressed by escaping Q1, but a tough start meant he dropped down the order. The 21-year-old soon found a good rhythm and consistency to recover, finishing 15th.





#18 YUJI KUNIMOTO



“First of all, I'm glad I was able to score points in the opening round. We couldn’t quite perfect the balance of the car and that made it difficult to show our ultimate pace. In the race, the start was good and I was able to make up several places.



It was a tough first stint as I was mainly defending, but the team did a great job in the pits and my out-lap was fast so I came out in a good position. There was a brief period of rain and our pace improved but it dried up before we could take advantage of it. However, I’m happy with our performance.”



 


#7 KAZUTO KOTAKA



“I found it tough going into free practice so I was very pleased to get through Q1 on Saturday. In the race, I lost positions at the start and dropped to the back of the field, but I was able to quickly recover a few of those places.


From that point on, I made a few mistakes but the team told me that the pace was good. It was a difficult day for me, but I'm glad I was able to finish my first Super Formula race.”



 


TSUGIO MATSUDA, TEAM MANAGER



“It was a shame that we couldn't make it to Q3 because I think we had the potential to do so. On Sunday, Kunimoto showed how good he is off the line, making up several positions at the start. Our strategy was also good, and the mechanics did a great job in the pit lane.


As a result, Kunimoto was able to take eighth place and score points. Kotaka did his best and did well to make Q2 in his first qualifying. He had a few issues in the race but he showed that he could run at a stable and fast pace, proving that he has great potential at this level.



There is still a big gap to those at the top and we are hopeful we can close the difference and improve our performance. I think there are many places where we can become stronger, so we will work together as a team to realise the potential of the car for the next round.”


 

KCMG, photos KCMG Japan

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07.04.2021 / MaP

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