Lyons sweeps FNippon double at Suzuka

Ulster's Richard Lyons scored a brace of Formula Nippon race wins at Suzuka on Sunday, scoring the first ever victories for the Dandelion DoCoMo team

Lyons sweeps FNippon double at Suzuka

From third on the grid in the opening wet race, Lyons quickly caught pole sitter Takeshi Tsuchiya in his Le Mans Lola and took the lead going in to Spoon Curve before driving away from the rest of the field to win convincingly.

With the grid for the feature race decided on the results of the first event, Lyons sprinted away from pole position and produced another faultless display, although Satoshi Motoyama made things a little more difficult for the 23-year-old Ulsterman.

A mid-race safety car period to clear away Yuji Tachikawa's car saw the field bunch up and Motoyama unleash a fresh attack on Lyons in the remaining 12 laps, but Lyons soaked up the pressure well. Motoyama slowed on the very last lap, his Mugen engine out of fuel. Despite trying in vain to slosh the final drops from the tank, he cruelly stopped just 400 meters from the finishing line, thus opening the title race wide open.

"After making some changes to the chassis set up I was confident that we had the best package this weekend," said Lyons. "I've had wins this season for Nismo in the GT Championship but to score my first win in Nippon feels very special indeed."

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