Expert Yudai Uchida and rookie Eric Lo celebrated from the top step of the Trofeo Pirelli and Coppa Shell podium in the opening round of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Japan at the Fuji International Speedway.
Much to the delight of the spectators, on the day of qualifying and the race for the opening round, conditions were ideal, making the race an absolute spectacle.
In the Trofeo Pirelli class, Yudai Uchida and Nobuhiro Imada faced off in a thrilling one-on-one battle. Uchida, who began at pole position, established a lead immediately. However, as the laps progressed, Imada steadily closed the distance and by the end, the two were neck-and-neck. Despite the intense competition, Uchida was able to hold off Imada's advances and won the opening round of the race by a slender margin of 0.3 seconds.
In the Trofeo Pirelli AM class, nine cars competed for the win, with pole-sitter Akita, Makoto Fujiwara, and Kazuyuki Yamaguchi vying for the top spot. Eric Lo in the Coppa Shell class had a good start, but the three-way battle was won by Fujiwara, who began from the best grid position in his class.
In the Coppa Shell class, Eric Lo engaged in a fierce tussle with a Trofeo Pirelli Am class driver. Despite relinquishing the lead to Fujiwara and Akita in the last two laps, Lo was able to secure a convincing victory, far ahead of Kiwamu Katayama, who finished second in his class. Masaru Yoneda and Masato Yoneoka also had a thrilling battle for the win in Coppa Shell Am, with Yoneoka ultimately coming out on top on his debut. Tomorrow, 9 April, Round 2 of the Ferrari Challenge Japan Series will be held at Fuji Speedway, with the green flag waved at 16:35 local time.