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Round2 Okayama International Circuit



Saturday will surely be an exciting day

A month has passed since the opening of the SUPER FORMULA series at the Suzuka Circuit. Round 2 will take place at the Okayama International Circuit on May 28th and 29th. It was Ishiura Hiroaki who made a pole to win at the Okayama International Circuit last year, but who will take home the win this year?

The Okayama International Circuit is a rather short distanced race track like the Sportsland SUGO in Miyagi Prefecture, and its width is quite narrow which makes it hard for the drivers to overtake. But if the former machine is unable to hit the clipping point and drifts out wide, the latter driver is given the chance to overtake at the Hairpin turn. Andre Lotterer last year took this tactic for overtaking. Nevertheless, with such professional drivers in the series, the chances of anyone making a mistake is very low. This makes qualifying very important; the grid order is going to be the key to win this round.

No.1 Hiroaki Ishiura
No.36 Andre Lotterer

However, getting the pole position at Okayama is not something easily done. With the course distance of about 3.7km, there is going to be lots of traffic during Q1. Every team and driver will want to put on new tires once the course condition is better, but finding the right timing is going to be important. Luck can play a big role in qualifying, especially for the SUPER FORMULA cars where the gap between machines is just one hundredth of a second. In Round 1 of the series, many of the championship winners could not make it to Q3 - Joao Paolo de Oliveria and Hiroaki Ishiura kicked out of Q1, Andre Lotterer and Kazuki Nakajima out of Q2. Saturday will surely be an exciting day for the fans.

No.16 Naoki Yamamoto
No.41 Stoffel Vandoorne

Testing was held for two days from March 31st to April 1st at the Okayama International Circuit. The first day was with a dry condition, the second day a wet to dry condition. It was Naoki Yamamoto, who marked the overall top time over the two days. If Yamamoto is able to win Round 2, he will have a great lead in the series. The drivers most likely to be battling against Yamamoto would be Kazuki Nakajima and Andre Lotterer who finished first and second on the second day of testing, Oliveira who marked top times during testing, and Ishiura who won the Okayama last year. Stoffel Vandoorne, who attended the first day of testing, was 4th overall that day. Vandoorne placed himself on the podium in his debut race, but will he do the same in Round 2? We also have to keep an eye on the rookie, Yuhi Sekiguchi who placed 3rd in qualifying in Round 1.

No.8 Kamui Kobayashi
No.20 Yuhi Sekiguchi

More drivers to look out for - Kamui Kobayashi, Daisuke Nakajima, Bertrand Baguette and Yuji Kunimoto. Anyone has the chance to win the championship at this point of the series, so let’s watch carefully from the practice laps to the final race.