Team KCMG scored a double points finish thanks to strong performances from Kamui Kobayashi and Yuji Kunimoto at the Suzuka Circuit in a rain-ravaged round 3 of the 2022 Super Formula season.
With improved form from the previous round at Fuji Speedway, Kobayashi and Kunimoto both advanced to Q2 during Saturday’s qualifying session. Ex-Formula 1 driver Kobayashi finished 11th on the starting grid for Sunday’s event, while 2016 Super Formula champion Kunimoto finished fifth, who would later finish eighth after a post-session penalty.
Team KCMG looking for points during round 3 Super Formula at Suzuka.
Both drivers had a great start in tricky wet conditions during Sunday’s race, each gaining two positions on the opening lap. Kobayashi showed excellent pace on the track where he was on the F1 podium in 2012, taking six places to finish fifth, with Kunimoto taking the checkered flag in sixth.
Round 4 of the 2022 Super Formula season will take place at Autopolis from May 21-22.
Kamui Kobayashi: “I had a good pace with the wet and dry tires and we have improved since the opening weekend at Fuji thanks to the hard work of the team. I was happy to finish in the top five on my return to Suzuka, which was tough under the conditions. Looking forward to Autopolis, we will keep pushing and trying to challenge for some silverware.”
Yuji Kunimoto: “It was very difficult during the race with the rain, but I had a good start and won two positions on the opening lap. As the race progressed I started to struggle a bit with the tires so I had to be careful given the difficult conditions. Despite the weather I managed to hold on to my position and was delighted to score my first points of the season.”
Tsugio Matsuda, Team Manager: “It was great to see both cars perform strongly in qualifying and to have such good speed throughout the race. So far we have struggled with wet conditions, but even in the rain on Sunday both drivers made up for positions at the start and the pace was very good. The team is getting better with each round and we aim to continue this progress at Autopolis.”
Ryuji Doi, HCMG Head of Motorsport: “The team showed an improved pace this weekend, especially in qualifying, with both cars making it to Q2. Not many teams managed to get two cars in the second part of qualifying, so it clearly shows our development since Fuji. Despite the wet conditions, both drivers were able to take positions at the start, so we managed to finish with a good number of points. Fuji and Suzuka have traditionally been difficult for the team so we are eager to get to tracks where we should be more competitive. I am very happy with what we have achieved in Suzuka and we are looking forward to the next round in Autopolis where we aim to finish on the podium.”