Toyota protege Ritomo Miyata secured the inaugural Super Formula Lights title with a round to spare after taking two wins from three during this weekend at Suzuka.
Miyata took his ninth victory of the season during Saturday’s first race of the weekend, only to then blot his copybook by spinning off at Degner Curve in Sunday morning second race, registering his first non-score of the year.
But the TOM’S driver rebounded in Sunday’s finale by converting pole into a 10th win of 2020, six seconds over title rival Sena Sakaguchi, and put the championship beyond reach.
Miyata’s latest win puts him on 136 points, 29 ahead of Sakaguchi with three races remaining at Fuji, but because a driver’s worst three results are discarded, Miyata – who has 10 wins to B-Max Racing driver Sakaguchi’s four – cannot be caught.
Kazuko Kotaka (TOM’S) strengthened his grip on third in the standings, and heads to Fuji with eight points in hand over Honda protege and ex FIA F3 driver Teppei Natori.
This season was Miyata’s fourth at this level, as he was part of the TOM’S All-Japan Formula 3 team from 2017 until last year.
The 21-year-old finished fourth overall in 2017 and was runner-up to dominant teammate Sho Tsuboi the following year, but was narrowly beaten by Sacha Fenestraz in the fight to win the final All-Japan F3 crown before the series was rebranded this year.
Miyata was promoted to Toyota’s GT500 roster in SUPER GT this year, sharing the Yokohama-shod Bandoh GR Supra with Yuji Kunimoto.
He has been hotly tipped for a promotion the TOM’S squad next year, and is also expected to graduate to Super Formula in 2021 with one of Toyota’s teams.
Miyata already deputised for the absent Kazuki Nakajima at Okayama and Autopolis when Nakajima was ruled out by FIA World Endurance Championship commitments.
Ritomo Miyata（VANTELIN TEAM TOM’S）
Photo by: Masahide Kamio
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