09/07/06 - IMPUL 1-2-3 AT SUZUKA
Frenchman, Benoit Treluyer, put aside the disappointment of seeing his countrymen lose the World Cup final to further enhance his points lead in the Formula Nippon series with a dominant display at Suzuka yesterday.

After taking a comfortable pole position in his Team Impul Lola-Toyota, Treluyer accelerated away from the grid to take an instant lead from team mates Tsugio Matsuda and Satoshi Motoyama.

Apart from a few drops of rain that fell in the early stages, Treluyer had no worries and soon consolidated a useful gap to his pursuers. The Impul team strategy of bringing in Treluyer later than the rest of the field also paid dividends and he emerged from his pit stop still in the lead to claim his first true victory of the year, as he won the first event, held at Fuji, under a safety car due to extreme weather conditions.

Behind Treluyer, his Impul team mates battled for second place but ultimately it was Matsuda who beat the multiple champion Motoyama to the runners up position to ensure a unique Impul 1-2-3 result.

While there was a relative lack of action at the head of the field there was plenty for the final points scoring positions. Loic Duval, the winner of the last Nippon race to be held at Suzuka, was challenging DHG-Tom’s Lola driver Andrew Lotterer, when he spun off the track on lap 20.

Ronnie Quintarelli had his most competitive race to date for the IngIng Lola squad but unlike his countrymen over in Berlin, he was not able to celebrate any noteworthy success as he retired with a blown engine when in 5th position. Hideki Mutoh (Nakajima Lola-Honda) was also a victim of Quintarelli’s misfortune as he spun on oil laid down by the Italian at Turn 1.

Bjorn Wirdheim had been battling for 5th place in his Dandelion Lola-Honda when a poor start and a subsequent clutch problem ended his race.

“It was one of the more exciting and hard races I've had lately, having to do lots of overtaking and staying motivated and pushing when it would have been easier to give in after dropping all those positions at the start,” said the Swede. “But we fought hard and got something really good out of it although unfortunately it didn't last all the way,"

Finishing in 4th place and scoring his best placing of the year was Yuji Tachikawa in his Cerumo Lola-Toyota. He headed home Lotterer, Kataoka (Le Mans Lola), Tsuchiya (DHG Tom’s) and Tora Takagi (Le Mans Lola) to round out a Toyota 1-8 clean sweep of the points scoring positions.

The next round of the Formula Nippon series takes place at the Autopolis circuit on August 6.


1. Benoit Treluyer (F) Impul Lola-Toyota 1hr34m26.397s
2. Tsugio Matsuda (J) Impul Lola-Toyota 1hr34m35.632s
3. Satoshi Motoyama (J) Impul Lola-Toyota 1hr35m00.301s
4. Yuji Tachikawa (J) Cerumo Lola-Toyota 1hr35m06.589s
5. Andre Lotterer (D) DHG-Tom’s Lola-Toyota 1hr35m32.191s
6. Tatsuya Kataoka (J) Le Mans Lola-Toyota 1hr35m42.185s
7. Takeshi Tsuchiya (J) DHG-Toms’ Lola-Toyota 1hr35m48.689s
8. Tora Takagi (J) Le Mans Lola-Toyota 1hr35m54.759s
9. Takashi Kogure (J) Super Aguri Lola-Honda 1hr35m57.029s
10. Seiji Ara (J) Kondo Lola-Toyota 1hr36m05.954s
11. Naoki Yokomizo (J) IngIng Lola-Toyota 1hr36m15.058s
12. Yuji Ide (J) Dandelion Lola-Honda +1 lap
13. Masataka Yanagida (J) Kondo Lola-Toyota +1 lap
R Kazuki Hoshino (J) Impul Lola-Toyota DNF
R Toshihiro Kaneishi (J) Super Aguri Lola-Honda DNF
R Bjorn Wirdheim (S) Dandelion Lola-Honda DNF
R Hideki Mutoh (J) Nakajima Lola-Honda DNF
R Ryo Michigami (J) 5Zigen Lola-Honda DNF
R Ronnie Quintarelli (I) Ing Ing Lola-Toyota DNF
R Loic Duval (F) Nakajima Lola-Honda DNF
R Ryo Orime (J) 5Zigen Lola-Honda DNF
R Shogo Mitsuyama (J) Direxiv Lola-Honda DNF

Series Standings After 4 Races

1. Benoit Treluyer (F) 25pts
2. Andre Lotterer (D) 14pts
3=. Loic Duval (F) 11pts
3=. Tsugio Matsuda (J) 11pts
5. Bjorn Wordheim (S) 10.5pts
6. Satoshi Motoyama (J) 10pts
7. Sakon Yamamoto (J) 3.5pts
8. Yuji Tachikawa (J) 3pts
9= Ronnie Quintarelli (I) 1pt
9= Tatsuta Kataoka (J) 1pt
9= Hideki Mutoh (J) 1pt

For more information, please visit www.f-nippon.co.jp

Benoit Treluyer in the Impul Lola-Toyota was the dominant winner at Suzuka.
(Picture f-nippon.co.jp)
Tsugio Matsuda finished second for Impul...
(Picture f-nippon.co.jp)
...with Satoshi Motoyama making it an impressive Impul 1-2-3.
(Picture f-nippon.co.jp)
The start of the race with the Impul cars already ahead.
(Picture f-nippon.co.jp)
The winners on the podium.
(Picture f-nippon.co.jp)