Maiden victory for Okura, as ‘Hirobon’ claims Saturday series title

Maiden victory for Okura, as ‘Hirobon’ claims Saturday series title

16 October 2021


Mineki Okura took an authoritative victory in TCR Japan’s Saturday Series race at Motegi Twin Ring, the maiden win for him and the first in the current season for the Stile Corse-run Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce.
‘Hirobon’ finished in third position at the wheel of his CUPRA and clinched the Saturday Series title with one event to go; the Birth Racing Project driver has built a leading margin of 42 points ahead of Masanobu Kato when 30 remain for grasp in the season finale at Suzuka.
Okura made a great start from the pole position and led from Resshu Shioya and ‘Hirobon’. Behind them, the Dome Racing Honda Civic of series newcomer Anna Inotsume was chased by Kato’s Team Mars Audi RS 3 LMS. In lap 3, Kato took to the inside of Inotsume, their cars clashed, and the lady’s Honda spun; Inotsume then rejoined at the back of the field.
Up front, Okura had built a healthy lead of several seconds, while Kato closed the gap from the pair of Shioya and ‘Hirobon’ who were fighting for second position. In lap 7, ‘Hirobon’ tried to pass Shioya who closed the gap and they made contact. Kato benefited from the situation to move into P2, while ‘Hirobon’ followed in third place.
There were no further changes in the top positions, Okura took the chequered flag well ahead of Kato and ‘Hirobon’, while Shioya beat Jun Sato and Masayoshi Oyama to finish fourth. During the penultimate lap, Inotsume passed Jun Makino for P8, while ‘Mototino’ retired into the pits with a technical issue. 
The Sunday Series race will start tomorrow at 10:05 local time (03:05 CEST) with Okura starting again from the pole position; live streaming at

Motegi – Race 1
1. Mineki Okura (M-Prototyping Stile Corse, Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce), 11 laps
2. Masanobu Kato (Team Mars, Audi RS 3 LMS), 5.659
3. ‘Hirobon’ (Birth Racing Project, CUPRA), 11.124
4. Resshu Shioya (Team G/Motion, Honda Civic Type R FK8), 14.587
5. Jun Sato (Adenau IDI Motor Sports, Volkswagen Golf GTI), 15.443

Championship points – Saturday series
1. ‘Hirobon’ 107 pts; 2. M. Kato 65; 3. M. Okura 62

Picture: TCR Japan

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