KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) took a significant step forward as Yuichi Nakayama displayed outstanding prowess in Super Formula’s penultimate event at Sportsland Sugo over the weekend.  The Japanese driver’s blistering pace stole the show while he led for several laps in the premier Japanese Formula series’ sixth round on Sunday. 

Super Formula’s practice sessions saw the Japanese driver deliver competitive lap times and impressively rounded off the final warm up in third place. Nakayama went on to secure a thirteenth place grid position after getting knocked out in the second run of the three-stage qualifying session on Saturday afternoon.

Nakayama’s skill on Sugo’s 3.704km layout shone brightest as he took on Super Formula’s sixth race the following day. A superb start allowed the former Japanese F3 champion to move up the field and progress lap after lap as he steadily climbed the leaderboard. By Lap 20, Nakayama was up eleven places and pursued Yuji Kunimoto to take the lead – setting the race’s fastest lap of 1’06.743 in the process.

The final hour of the race saw the #18 Toyota-powered Dallara SF14 gain on the race leader and finally led the pack on Lap 59. Unfortunately, with only three laps to go, an unplanned pit stop to refuel cost Nakayama the lead. The Japanese driver dropped down the order and finished the 68-lap affair in thirteenth place.

Yuichi Nakayama: “It was a shame that we weren’t able to finish with better results as we were at the front and led the race for several laps. Unfortunately our strategy didn’t work as planned. But overall, it was a good outing. We’ve shown that the car is competitive and we have the pace to challenge for victory. The team did an amazing job and I’m looking forward now to the series’ final race at Suzuka Circuit in November.”

Ryuji Doi, KCMG Japan General Manager: “We were very close to achieving our goal at Sugo and it’s a bit disappointing to not come away with the race result that we wanted. But generally, the team made significant progress and Yuichi delivered an outstanding job throughout the weekend. After this outing, we head to Suzuka in November with confidence and will focus on wrapping up the season strong.”

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