18-year-old Londoner Daniel Ticktum makes his debut in the Japanese Super Formula Championship this weekend for Red Bull Team Mugen, driving at Sportsland SUGO, the track where seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher made his one and only start in the series way back in 1991.
Further down the paddock, four-time Japanese Top Formula Champion and three-time Super GT GT500 champion, Satoshi Motoyama, is debriefing with his B-Max Racing Team and his driving protegé Katsumasa Chiyo.
Ticktum, the one making his Super Formula debut, had to rebuild his career and his livelihood after being banned for a calendar year and placed on probation for a second for a retaliatory crash with a championship rival in British Formula 4 in 2015. Motoyama, the one who’s now since retired from this championship as an active competitor, can absolutely empathise.
Continue reading Super Formula rookie Ticktum shares a road to redemption with legend Motoyama
On Monday, the Japanese racing world learned the tragic news that Kenji Yamada, chief engineer at Team LeMans in the Autobacs Super GT Series and the Japanese Super Formula Championship, passed away suddenly at the age of 54.
Yamada, who had been a mechanic and engineer for over 30 years, was set to work with Kazuya Oshima at this Sunday’s Super Formula season opener at Suzuka Circuit, and was with the team through Saturday until his passing on Sunday.
Continue reading Obituary: Kenji Yamada, Team LeMans chief engineer
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