It is not just a stepping stone to Formula 1, but a true professional championship contested by 19 of the world’s greatest drivers. It is the Japanese Super Formula Championship, whose 2018 season begins this weekend at the legendary spiritual home of single-seater racing in Japan, Suzuka Circuit.
2018 is a year of change for Super Formula. The final year of the dependable SF14 chassis. A prime/option tyre regulation similar to that employed in Formula 1 and IndyCar. And no fewer than six drivers making their debut in the series alongside two returning challengers.
It’s going to be a fascinating season ahead, seven rounds across Japan’s six great circuits, and will end at Suzuka with the fabled JAF Grand Prix.
Continue reading 2018 Super Formula Preview: The Ultimate Challenge
On Monday and Tuesday, the Japanese Super Formula Championship ran two days of pre-season testing at Suzuka Circuit, in preparation for the 2018 season which starts at the same venue on April 21-22.
Kamui Kobayashi, driving for carrozeria Team KCMG/Toyota, recorded the fastest lap of the two-day test before departing for France to test in the FIA World Endurance Championship for Toyota Gazoo Racing. Rookie Nobuharu Matsushita led the second day of testing for DoCoMo Team Dandelion Racing/Honda.
During the test, one of the last two seats on the grid were filled, as B-Max Racing Team selected Katsumasa Chiyo to drive the #50 car, under the guidance of new team principal, and four-time Japanese Top Formula champion, Satoshi Motoyama.
Continue reading Kobayashi fastest in Super Formula tests; Chiyo lands B-Max Honda drive
Catching up with the Japanese Super Formula Championship, as part of Toyota Gazoo Racing’s 2018 motorsport activities announcement, Toyota confirmed 10 of their 11 drivers for the upcoming Super Formula campaign.
Two-time and defending Super Formula champion Hiroaki Ishiura will lead the charge for Toyota in 2018, with Ryo Hirakawa returning to the series after a two-year absence for Itochu Enex Team Impul, and James Rossiter returning full-time to replace the retired André Lotterer at Vantelin Team TOM’s.
Continue reading Hirakawa, Rossiter return to Super Formula with Toyota
Honda are giving two of its most outstanding single-seater prospects a massive push towards a promotion into the Formula 1 World Championship, as they have placed Honda Formula Dream Project (HFDP) drivers Nobuharu Matsushita and Nirei Fukuzumi into the Japanese Super Formula Championship in 2018.
Fukuzumi makes his Super Formula debut in the Red Bull Team Mugen car formerly driven by Pierre Gasly, as part of a double campaign that will see the 20-year-old also compete in the FIA Formula 2 Championship for Arden International.
Seven of Honda’s eight available driver slots were announced over the weekend, with one vacancy, at B-Max Racing Team, still yet to be determined.
Continue reading Honda phenoms Fukuzumi & Matsushita join Super Formula