Matsumoto is Sunday champion as Howson wins Race 2

26 October 2019

Matthew Howson won the TCR Japan’s second race in Suzuka and Takeshi Matsumoto secured the Sunday series title.
The key moment of the race was the incident between Yu Kanamaru and Shuji Maejima that eliminated the former who was leading the race and the championship and resulted in a penalty for the second who dropped out of the points.
At the start, Kanamaru and Howson pipped pole sitter Matsumoto and led the field into T1. During the first lap, Maejima overtook ‘Hirobon’ for P4, then Mitsuyama spun, Taniguchi spun behind him and ‘Yoshiki’ crashed into Taniguchi’s car. The safety car was deployed in lap 2.  
The race restarted in lap 5 and Maejima overtook Matsumoto for P3 into T2, but Jun Sato spun off and his car remained stranded in the gravel trap and so the safety car was deployed again for another two laps. Racing resumed for three final laps, Maejima overtook Howson for P2 at the end of the straight and after a couple of laps tried to pass Kanamaru for the lead; they made contact, Kanamaru spun off and rejoined.
There were no further changes and so Maejima crossed the line in first position, but he was given a 30-second penalty for the incident and dropped to 11th. Howson inherited the victory, while Matsumoto and ‘Hirobon’ were promoted to second and third.
Matsumoto won the Sunday series title, while Howson claimed the overall title for the entrant KCMG Honda.

Race 2
1. Matthew Howson (KCMG, Honda Civic FK7), 9 laps
2. Takeshi Matsumoto (Wakayama Racing, Volkswagen Golf GTI), 0.719
3. ‘Hirobon’ (Birth Racing Project, Volkswagen Golf GTI), 1.378
4. Resshu Shioya (Team G/Motion, Honda Civic FK7), 6.021
5. Philippe Devesa (Adenau-Racingline, Volkswagen Golf GTI), 8.476

Championship points overall
1. Howson 155 pts; 2. Matsumoto 153; 3. Kanamaru 152

Sunday series
1. Matsumoto 89 pts; 2. Kanamaru 77; 3. Maejima 75 

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