Sportsland Sugo Racing Circuit, Japan: SFL F3 Races 7,8 & 9
Jun 24

Sportsland Sugo Racing Circuit, Japan: SFL F3 Races 7,8 & 9

Sportsland Sugo Racing Circuit, Japan

Photo Credits: © Wataru Tamura Photography (Member JRPA*)

2024 Super Formula Lights F3 | Japan
Sportsland Sugo Race Circuit
Round 3* | Races 7, 8, 9
June 22 & 23 | 2024

*Round 1 (Races 1, 2, and 3) cancelled – to be rescheduled

Sugo Highlights:
Practices June 20 & 21: 1st through 3rd in all practice sessions
Qualifying 1 Position: 2nd Place
Race 1 Finish: 15th (Tire Failure)
Qualifying 2 Position: 1st Place/Pole Position
Race 2 Finish: 5th Place
Race 3 Start Position: 12th Place (start based on finish order of Race 1)
Race 3 Finish: 8th Place
Championship: 6th Place

Practice Sessions | June 20th & 21st: 2nd, 2nd, & 5th Fastest (3 sessionss)

Through all practice sessions, Kaylen led the sessions in fastest laps until closing minutes with new tire runs. In Thursday’s Free Practice 1 and Friday’s Free Practice 2, the top spot was taken in the final 9 minutes leaving Kaylen Frederick in P2 with 1:13.9 seconds on the clock. In the last Free Practice 3 on Friday, Kaylen again led with fast times until the end of the session, finishing 5th. The fastest time of all sessions combined was 1:13.378.

Qualifying | June 22nd/Saturday

Qualifying 1: 2nd Place | Qualifying 2: 1st Place (Pole)
In the first qualifying session for Race 1, Kaylen finished second fastest with a time of 1:13.332, .1 behind his teammate Koibe (1:13.260) however assuring a front row start for Race 1. With the 2nd qualifying session getting underway only 10 minutes later, Kaylen took his fast lap run with 4 minutes remaining on the clock and finishing with a time of 1:13.025, bettering his time of the first qualifying session by 3/10 and taking the fastest lap of the weekend.

Kaylen Frederick:
“I’m both happy and somewhat relieved to get pole position. Qualifying at Autopolis (previous race event) did not go well, and I was fortunate to claw together enough points toward the championship through racing forward. I’m happy that I’m showing what I’m capable of. During the ten-minute interval between the two qualifying sessions, I had close discussions with the team and tried to reduce the areas that were not good. As a result, the car felt very good. On the day before, at the end of Friday’s exclusive session, there were still a few points where I was a little unsatisfied, but I was able to apply the learning and experimentation to make good adjustments for qualifying runs and I’m very satisfied. I can’t say anything about tomorrow’s eighth race, where I will start from pole, because I don’t know what the weather will be like. But I had a strong run at Autopolis in the final race and believe we can bring pace and edge to these races here.”

Race 7 | Round 3 | June 22nd/Saturday

Starting Positions: 2nd Place
Finish Positions: 12th Place
After a reasonable start, Kaylen circulated comfortably in 2nd position. Monitoring his pace and protecting his tires, Kaylen established a pace to be beyond the grasp of the pursuing driver behind. On lap 7, Kaylen’s right rear tire lost grip precipitously, attributable to a faulty and failing tire (see below). Running at a pace 2-3 seconds per lap slower than others, Kaylen Frederick slowing pace was not defendable and he was eventually overtaken by all drivers in the race. On lap 11, the car retired as further running was dangerous.

This race outcome had further important repercussions, as start position for Race 3 is dependent on finishing positions in Race 1, relegating Kaylen to start Race 3 at the end of the field in P12.

Race 8 | June 23rd | Sunday AM

Starting Position: 1st Position (Pole)
Finish Position: 5th (Following Penalty)
In driving rain and wet conditions, Kaylen led from the rolling start with good pace. A yellow flag and safety car was called on lap 1, bunching up the field for a re-start. Kaylen’s restart was reasonable with wheel spin on wet surfaces, however the driver behind was able to get around into Turn 1 placing Kaylen 2nd in the field. Kaylen held onto 2nd place throughout the remaining 19 laps until near the race end, at which point teammate Koibe challenged Kaylen for position. Both went deep on the brakes, with Kaylen on the inside of the track. Still ahead going into the turn, wheels & tires of both cars contacted. The contact sent Koibe onto the gravel. Kaylen barely managed to stay on the racetrack however the loss of mid-corner speed allowed a driver behind to overtake for second. Although Kaylen finished 3rd, race direction later penalized Kaylen 5 seconds for causing an incident, revising Kaylen’s finish to fifth.

Race 9| June 23rd | Sunday

Starting Position: 12th Position (Following tire failure in Race 9**)
Finish Position: 8th

**Start Position for the third race of the weekend is assigned based on finish position in the first race of the weekend – in which Kaylen Frederick suffered Kumho tire failure).

Starting at the rear of the field in 12th position due to the failed tire of Race 1, track conditions were again very wet with intermittent fog at several sectors and turns on track. The race started on the grid with Kaylen immediately taking five positions within two turns. Noting a driver behind had locked tires, Kaylen opted to drive off the track to avoid impact from behind, however allowing another pursuing driver to regain position and dropping Kaylen back to 8th. Further overtakes were risky due to lack of grip, increasing fog, and exceptionally poor visibility. At lap 6, the safety car was called out due to fog on the circuit. The safety car remained on track for the remainder of the race with no further racing to resume, and Kaylen finishing in 8th.

Kaylen Frederick Summary:
“Coming away from this weekend the feeling is mixed. The team worked extremely hard to fix the issues that we had in Autopolis, and the pace we showed straight away in practice indicated we had worked through the issues. Each day we were one of the quickest cars in practice, and the pace translated into qualifying where we ended up 2nd and 1st. I’m proud of the team and myself for our performance as we were able to show our true potential and pace, which we lacked in Autopolis qualifying. But after a decent start in Race 1 where we were running in 2nd we had a tire failure which ended the race and made us then start last for Race 3. This set us back massively as it put us in a position where it was very hard to come away with any substantial points for the weekend. Our only real opportunity for points would be in Race 2 where I was starting on pole. However, Sunday morning brought heavy rain, and it was raining for the first time this weekend, with no opportunity to learn the wet lines. This required I learn and adapt quickly as I’ve never driven at Sugo in the wet. We lost a position on the start and then were involved in an incident on the final lap while running in 2nd. The incident resulted in us finishing 5th. In Race 3 we made up 4 positions by the end of lap 1, but after 6 laps the race was called off due to poor weather conditions and this further dampened any opportunities to make progress. We did everything we could to set us up for success, but ultimately what compromised our entire weekend was something out of our control. To say it is frustrating is an understatement, but we have to put those things behind us, and we will come back for the next round with the same approach so we can get back on track.”

Championship Round-up: 6th Place

Next on the Calendar:

2024 Japan Super Formula Lights F3 | Round 3 | Races 10, 11 & 12
Fuji Speedway Gymkhana Course
July 19 – 21    
Circuit Length: 4.549 KM | 2.91 Miles

About Kaylen Frederick
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