Former Renault Academy driver Sacha Fenestraz won the 2019 Japanese F3 series at Twin Ring Motegi, with a round to spare.
After a difficult FIA European Formula 3 Championship in 2018, Fenestraz was dropped by Renault from their academy, which forced the Frenchman to move to Japan, competing in multiple championships.
He started the year in the Japanese F3 with B-Max Racing with Motopark and also races in the GT300 category of Super GT. It has been a strong season in the F3 side for Fenestraz though, with a dominant run.
The Frenchman has won eight of the 18 races with a total of 16 podium finishes with five pole positions and nine fastest laps. He has 148 points to his nearest rival Corolla Chukyo Kuo TOM’S’ Ritomo Miyata.
The Japanese has 118 points with six wins and 13 podium finishes plus eight poles and fastest laps, but his two disqualifications at Sugo and Fuji derailed his title hopes, leaving him quite far behind Fenestraz.
It is also a win for Volkswagen on Japanese soil with the Frenchman’s team using the German manufacturer’s engine against the latter’s Toyota. Interestingly, Fenestraz’s chassis is Dallara F314 to Miyata’s F317.
Behind the two, it is Fenestraz’s teammate Enaam Ahmed, who made a last-minute switch of teams after losing his earlier drive. He has two wins, eighth podiums, one pole and one fastest lap, with 63 points in all.
With the title sealed at Twin Ring Motegi, the finale is scheduled for Okayama during September 28-29 weekend. It remains to be see where Fenestraz goes from here, if B-Max takes him to Super Formula or not.
It is worth to note that this is his second title after winning the 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup series with Josef Kaufmann Racing. He also sits second in the GT300 class with three rounds to go.