JULY 31, 2004
Ulsterman Richard Lyons continues to be the man to beat in Formula Nippon and took pole position in qualifying for the fifth round of the series at Sugo, the Yamaha-owned circuit located about 200 miles to the north-east of Tokyo, in the Miyagi Prefecture. Lyons set the fastest time in both qualifying sessions in his DoCoMo Dandelion team Lola to beat multiple champion Satoshi Motoyama to pole by two-tenths of a second. Lyons's team mate Naoki Hattori was third quickest ahead of Takashi Kogure (PIAA Nakajima Racing), France's Benoit Treluyer (Team Impul) and Tsugio Matsuda (Cosmo Oil Cerumo). Lyons's chief rival in the Formula Nippon championship is Belgian Andre Lotterer (PIAA Nakajima), who qualified seventh. Lyons currently leads Lotterer by one point, having scored two wins but no other points. Lotterer has won one race but has done well in the others while the only other winner this year has been Kogure but he has failed to finish any other races.
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