Comeback Honda power
2018 Super Formula season has kick off at Suzuka Circuit.
NGK spark plug 2&4 race is season opener.
[Check point Rd.1]
・2 spec tyre
This season has big change. 2 spec soft and medium Yokohama tyre introduce every race.
Former GP3 race winner and current FIA F2 runner Nirei Fukuzumi joins Team Mugen. And Fukuzumi ride former Pierre Gasly’s car.
Former FIA F2 runner Nobuharu Matsushita joins DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION.
2017 FV8 3.5 champion Pietro Fittipaldi combined 3 category (Indycar, WEC, Super Formula) this season.
Nissan Super GT pilot Katsumasa Chiyo gets wishful top formula seat with B-MAX Racing.
This year’s Q1 all driver must use to medium tyre.
Today is so hot condition compared usual year. So many driver and team struggle the setting and driving.
In this session, Honda protege Nobuharu Matsushita (DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION) sets fastest lap and hold P1.
5 driver knock out from this session, Oshima, Nissan ace Chiyo, returner Rositter, Fittipaldi.
Every driver sets soft compound tyre for this session.
New Yokohama tyre is so difficult to warm up. So laps of warm-up is different depending on the driver.
2016 champion Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU Cermo/Inging) is first man to set the pace.
And some driver goes to attack, in this timing 2017 Super GT champion Ryo Hirakawa (ITOCHU ENEX IMPUL) off at degner-1.
Red flag shows this accident. Due to this red flag, slow warm up drivers could not record the time.
And restart last 3min. They use tyre for 1st attack, so almost driver change the new sets soft tyre. But Q1 top time setter Matsushita was still set used tyre.
Finally Tomoki Nojiri (DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION) was top man at Q2. His team mate Nobuharu Matsushita drop out from Q2 in spite of the Q1 fastest.
2016 champion Kunimoto, WEC star Kobayashi, Karthikeyan, Yamashita, Sekiguchi were out from Q2.
Cause of Q2’s red flag Ryo Hirakawa could not run because engine stop.
So 7 driver attempt final stage.
Transferee Takuya Izawa (Nakajima Racing) first man to attack lap.
4 driver (Izawa, Nojiri, Yamamoto, Fukuzumi) has new sets soft tyre. So Tsukakoshi, Ishiura, Nakajima forced to use old tyre.
Tomoki Nojiri (DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION) goes top, but immediately Honda young hope Nirei Fukuzumi (Team Mugen) sets fastest lap.
But finally Honda ace man Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen) beat his young team mate and grabs pole position!
His 9th pole position since 2016 Rd.1 for Yamamoto. Good return from disappointment last year mach up with Pierre Gasly.
And super debut 2nd grid for Nirei Fukuzumi (Team Mugen). So Team Mugen gets first time one-two qualifying results in Super Formula since Mugen enter the Japanese top formula series 2010.
3rd is Tomoki Nojiri (DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION), 4th Takuya Izawa (Nakajima Racing), 5th Koudai Tsukakoshi (Real Racing).
And Honda engine user dominate top 5 qualifying results. Honda shows fantastic performance 2018 spec NRE.
2017 champion Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU Cermo/Inging) is top of Toyota engine user 6th.
TOM’s ace Kazuki Nakajima (VANTELIN Team TOM’s) is 7th.
Tomorrows race is first time 300km race for SF14 and NRE 2 spec tyre package.
So It will be an unpredictable and fun race.
Live streaming at motorsport tv
2017 Super Formula driver and team champion P.MU CERUMO/INGING revelas 2018 lively.
CERUMO/INGING gets new sponsor ”JMS” and big logo put on shark fin and front flap.
JMS is Japanese auto part shop.
And brake pad maker P.MU continue main partner.
2015 and 2017 champion Hiroaki Ishiura and 2016 champion Yuji Kunimoto are remain for P.MU CERUMO/INGING.
New French coming
UOMO SUNOCO Team LeMans announced former Formula V8 3.5 champion Tom Dillmann to substitute Pietro Fittipaldi for 2 Super Formula race.
Both FV8 3.5 champ share #7 Team LeMans car.
This year for Pietro Fittipaldi fulfilling busy schedule due to enter 3 category include, Indycar, WEC, Super Formula.
Tom Dillmann is former Formula V8 3.5 champion.
And many experience single-seater career, for example, F3, GP3, GP2, FR3.5, FV8, Formula E. Now main contender for By Kolles WEC driver.
His first time Japanese racing this year.
Big chance for young man
Honda has announce to Japanese F3 driver Sena Sakaguchi replace to FIA F2 and Super Formula driver Nirei Fukuzumi at Super Formula Rd.2 Autopolis with Team Mugen. Fukuzumi enter both FIA F2 and Super Formula this year.
So Red Bull athlete will miss 3 Super Formula race.
Honda and Team Mugen still not decide to replacement driver for Rd.3 SUGO and Rd.4 Fuji.
Sena Sakaguchi is age 18. 6th of Japanese F3 last year, 2nd in FIA F4 Japan 2016 season. Sakaguchi was testing Super Formula last Fuji official testing.
Sakaguchi ended 20th that testing. But big chance and It will be one race that will dominate the future.
UOMO SUNOCO Team LeMans announces #7 driver today.
2017 Formula V8 3.5 champion Pierto Fittipaldi signs for Team LeMans Super Formula campaign. Fittipaldi pair with LeMans ace Kazuya Oshima.
He tested SF14 Toyota at Suzuka testing and shows great performance.
It seems to have influenced to gets the race seat.
Young Brazilian take over last year’s Felix Rosenqvist car and awesome engineer Ryan Dingle. And so busy schedule for Fittipaldi.
2 race for WEC LMP1 class, 7 race for Indycar, 5 race for Super Formula.
So Fittipaldi miss Rd.2 Autopolis and Rd.3 SUGO due to crash schedule with IndyGP and Indy500.
・UOMO SUNOCO Team LeMans reveals 2018 livery
New title sponsor ”UOMO” is fashion magazine brands.
And long time partner SUNOCO continue support for LeMans.
But big change is fresh color scheme,
#7 Pietro Fittipaldi’s car impressive Pink.
#8 Kazuya Oshima’s car is bule and pink.
Honda’s leading outfit TEAM MUGEN reveals 2018 new lively.
#16 8 consecutive years ride Honda ace Naoki Yamamoto.
Asymmetric left and right impact lively. And big ”MUGEN” logo to posted.
Long time big partner MOTUL on side pontoon.
#15 Honda’s young driver Nirei Fukuzumi gets double entry for Super Formula and FIA F2 this season.
Red Bull athlete take over last years Pierre Gasly’s lively.
Fukuzumi will miss 3 Super Formula race, so TEAM MUGEN will announce replacement driver after the decision.
A worldly-wise man gets the chance
Nissan’s works GT500 driver Katsumasa Chiyo gets Super Formula ride for B-MAX Racing.
B-MAX Racing turns 2nd season for Super Formula this year.
But B-MAX was not decided driver until 1st official testing. So B-MAX bringing 2 driver for testing. And new team director and 4 time Formula Nippon champion Satsoshi Motoyama done check run at Suzuka fan thanks festival.
in this testing, last year IMPUL driver Jan Mardenborough and GT500 B-MAX driver Katsumasa Chiyo are share #50 car.
Morning session for Mardenborough, Afternoon session for Chiyo.
After the Day1, B-MAX Racing owner Ryuji Kumita decide to appoint Katsumasa Chiyo.
Chiyo was takes F3 N class title at 2011, after the N class title Chiyo focus to GT drive.
In 2015, Chiyo shows fantastic performance at Bathurst 12h and takes win.
And becomes Blancpain GT endurance champion.
Next season Chiyo gets Nissan GT500 chance.
This year Chiyo and Motoyama pair for GT500 NDDP with B-MAX Racing.
So good combination in Super Formula.
Lineup for testing has reveals.
Super Formula official testing at Suzuka start from tomorrow.
And update entry list.
Super Formula Suzuka testing entry list
Almost team confirms 2018 lineup. But UOMO SUNOCO Team LeMans and B-MAX Racing are still not confirm drivers.
So LeMans and B-MAX calls multiple drivers.
After the great season, Felix Rosenqvist leave Team LeMans due to busy schedule Formula E and Super GT duty.
Kazuya Oshima is retain for #8 Team LeMans driver this season.
In such situation, Team LeMans lines 2 driver for #7 car.
First is Williams F1 development and WEC Manor driver Oliver Rowland.
Rowland gets first taste Dallara SF14 yesterday’s Suzuka motorsports fan event.
Rowland will drive 1st day of testing.
2nd is 2017 World series Formula V8 champion Pietro Fittipardi joins #7 car.
Fittipardi will drive 2nd day of testing.
B-MAX Racing lines Nissan related driver.
Last year’s IMPUL driver Jan Mardenborough and Nissan GT500 regular Katsumasa Chiyo.
Both driver will share #50 B-MAX car during 2 days.
So B-MAX will do drive audition in this testing. it will be interesting one.
New livery feels new season coming.
Toyota’s leading team Vantelin Team TOM’s has reveals 2018.
3rd year for Vantelin sponsored as TOM’s. Green part has increased new livery.
This year is big change for TOM’s, because longtime TOM’s ace Andre Lotterer leaves due to busy schedule.
Former TOM’s GT500 regular James Rossiter replace to Lotterer this year.
Pless release (Japanese)
Only non Japanese team in the Super Formula, KCMG gets new title sponsor.
Japanese electronic equipment company Pioneer’s one of bland carrozzeria become team title sponsor and new name ”carrozzeria Team KCMG”.
Toyota Gazoo Racing LMP1 ace Kamui Kobayashi retain for KCMG and 2rd season this team. Kobayashi aims to get first win and title this season with new sponsor.
Japanese energy company ITOCHU ENEX and Team IMPUL extend title sponsor deal.
3rd consecutive year for Team IMPUL and ITOCHU ENEX partnership.
This year IMPUL lines strong pair, IMPUL new ace Yuhi Sekiguchi and youngest Super GT champion Ryo Hirakawa.
Pless release (Japanese)
So sad ending
Super Formula final round of JAF Suzuka GP held at Suzuka.
JAF GP is 2 race system. So can earn maximum 18 points (Q1 pole and Q3 pole and double wins).
This weekend is hit by big typhoon. So rain falling from Friday.
In this time, one off regulation take on. ”If Qualifying session canceled by weather condition, practice 2 results reflecte to Qualifying results (If 20min session completed).
Finally this session completed and Takuya Izawa (Docomo Team Dandelion) sets top time.
・Qualifying 1 (20 min)
Qualifying session is so important. Because in both qualifying session can earn pole position points Here is point regulation→http://superformula.net/sf/en/race/2017/standings/
And one off regulation take on ”If only completed Q1, best lap for race 1 results, second best lap for race 2″
5 min delay to start QF session. After the delay, session was started.
But suddenly rain got stronger and shows red flag.
After the 30min, condition turns well and decide to restart.
All driver into the racing course. And top group into the attack lap, Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team LeMans) crashed out at turn1.
So red flag again.
By the suzuka’s marshall quick work, early restart.
Many driver goes time trial. At the timing Nakajima Racing guys sets one-two formation, Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) off at turn1.
Due to this accident, red flag again. But Kobayashi can move again himself.
In this timing, point leader Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU Cermo・Inging) did not record the time.
Session resumed soon. Cermo・Inging guys lines pit lane pole position.
After the start, Cermo・Inging team operated put to Ishiura ahead Yuji Kunimoto.
Last 7min, time goes improve, and Andre Lotterer (Vantelin Team TOM’s) sets fastest time. His team mate Kazuki Nakajima (Vantelin Team TOM’s) follow Lotterer and 2nd.
But Tomoki Nojiri (Docomo Team Dandelion) goes 2nd and split TOM’s guys.
Last 1min, they try to final attack, but drama in this time. Title contender Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen) crashed at turn1. Finally session was not restarted.
Next Q2 session is canceled due to rain stronger than Q1.
So Q1’s best time for race 1 grid, Q1’s second best time for race 2 grid.
Race 1 pole is Andre Lotterer (Vantelin Team TOM’s), Race 2 pole is first career pole position for Jan Mardenborough (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL).
After the qualifying session, race direction and JRP are discussions.
As a results, can not expect improvement of condition tomorrow, 2 race canceled.
So championship has finished and 2015 champion Hiroaki Ishiura retakes Super Formula title! And P.MU Cermo・Inging gets 3rd consecutive years team title!
Toro Rosso F1 driver Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen) ended 2nd and rookie of the year.
only 0.5 behind from Ishiura. It is so super results and his talent.
3rd is same super rookie Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team LeMans).