SACHA CROWNED ALL JAPAN F3 CHAMPION
The title is Sacha’s third in five years of racing in single seaters, having won the French Formula 4 Rookie championship in 2015 and the Formula Renault Eurocup title two years ago. In addition to that he also claimed an impressive podium at the prestigious Macau Grand Prix last year.
The French-Argentinian driver needed a gap of more than 24 points to championship rival Ritomo Miyata by the end of the Motegi round to win the title. He got off to a brilliant start on Saturday by taking pole position for race one - giving him an extra championship point - and a front row start for race two.
Sacha had to hold off Miyata from taking the lead of the race on the opening lap. However he didn’t put a foot wrong during the race as he took the chequered flag with a two second gap to Miyata and a 15 second gap to third place.
With the championship in mind for race 2 he settled into second place behind Miyata and held it for the duration of race, not wanting to risk the points he would gain.
Starting the final race of the weekend from pole position, Sacha had a perfect start and kept the lead as Miyata briefly lost second place on the opening lap. Miyata caught back up to Sacha, but Sacha didn’t give the Japanese driver a chance over the 20 laps before taking the chequered flag.
Sacha explained that the race was the most difficult of the weekend.
“I managed to have a very good start from pole and led the whole race, but it was a very tough race. Miyata had a big advantage compared to me with new tyres, and for the whole race he was less than a second behind. If I were to make a mistake he would have overtaken me straight away.”
With a 30 point gap between Sacha and Miyata leaving Motegi and only 24 points available at the final round of the season, the Japanese F3 championship was sealed.
He had strong praise for the B-MAX Racing with Motopark team that he raced with this year in Japanese F3.
“To win the championship is an unbelievable feeling, and I’m very happy to win it a race before the last of the season.
“I’m very proud as well for the team as they have been working hard all season to help win the title, and to be able to win against such a good team like TOM’S.”
This championship adds to the 2017 Formula Renault Eurocup which he won in similar fashion. That year he was consistent - finishing on the podium in 17 times over the 23 races - as he ended that season with a large points gap to his nearest rival. In his debut season in single seaters four years ago he also won the junior championship in French F4 and finished second in the overall standings.
Sacha is next in action in three weeks time at Autopolis for the sixth Super GT Series round. He is currently in second place and challenging for another championship this year in the GT300 standings with Kondo Racing team-mate Kazuki Hiramine.