Super Formula Rd.2 Autopolis this weekend.
Team Mugen’s #15 Nirei Fukuzumi contests FIA F2 Spain.
Honda young Japanese F3 driver Sena Sakaguchi makes Super Formula debut replace to Fukuzumi.
UOMO SUNOCO Team LeMans #7 Pietro Fittipaldi plans to contests Indycar. But Fittipaldi pain his leg at WEC Spa, so lost both Indycar and Super Formula duty this weekend.
So Formula V8 3.5 champion and WEC driver Tom Dillman gets 2 Super Formula race chance.
Warm and good condition at Autopolis.
All driver must to set medium tyre for Q1.
Surprise debut for Sena Sakaguchi (Team Mugen). Honda young man sets fastest lap in first half of session.
Finally Takuya Izawa (TCS Nakajima Racing) score top time.
Disappointment knock out Q1 for 2016 champion Yuji Kunimoto (P.MU Cermo/Inging) is 15th. And both UOMO SUNOCO Team LeMans guys Kazuya Oshima and Tom Dillman were struggled medium tyre.
In Q2 they change to soft compound tyre.
They try to only one lap attack. But different of tyre warming.
Finally Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) sets brilliant new citcuit record 1:25.799.
Big gap 0.3sec from 2nd Nick Cassidy (Kondo Racing).
Mistake for WEC ace Kazuki Nakajima (VANTELIN Team TOM’s). Nakajima spun and cannot score the time.
And Tomoki Nojiri (DOCOMO Team DANDELION) and Hiroaki Ishiura (P.MU Cermo/Inging) sets completely same lap time.
But Nojiri is recorded before Ishiura. So Nojiri through the Q2.
Shows great performance in Q1, sport outing rookie Sena Sakaguchi drop out from Q2.
But impressive debut.
Last 4min, drivers into the racing course.
Both DOCOMO DANDELION guys lines one-two position.
But Ryo Hirakawa (ITOCHU ENEX Team IMPUL) goes 2 lap tyre warm.
This attack is good effort.
Finnaly Ryo Hirakawa sets fastest lap and gets first time pole position in his top formula career.
2017 Super GT GT500 champion return to top formula field and great results 2nd race for his return.
But Hirakawa down to 4th position for race grid due to penalty of Rd.1 accident.
So 2nd position Tomoki Nojiri (DOCOMO Team DANDELION) gets top of grid for race.
and his team mate Nobuharu Matsushita (DOCOMO Team DANDELION) is 3rd.
Top Toyota engine user is Nick Cassidy (Kondo Racing) 4th.
Rd.1 winner Naoki Yamamoto (Team Mugen) is 7th, Disappointment and mysterious tyre feeling for new circuit record holder Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) is 8th.
New Red Bull man coming
Team Mugen announce to Red Bull Junior driver Dan Ticktum replacement to Nirei Fukuzumi at Super Formula Rd.3 and 4.
Honda young protege Nirei Fukuzumi contests FIA F2 and Super Formula this season.
So 3 race schedule crash between F2 and SF.
In Rd.2 Autopolis, Honda’s F3 runner Sena Sakaguchi stand by Fukuzumi.
18 years old Dan Ticktum is F3 Macau GP 2017 winner and now compete to FIA F3 this year. His first time to drive big Formula and next Red Bull hope qualities are tried.
Because Mugen’s #15 is last years Pierre Gasly driven and finish 2nd overall in the championship.
In addition, Fukuzumi gets front row start his Super Formula debut.
Team release (Japanese)
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.