The 2019 season of Super Formula kicks off this weekend at the Suzuka Circuit.

The Circuit

Suzuka Circuit

Suzuka Circuit – Mie Prefecture, Japan
Circuit Length 5.807 km / 3.609 mi Opened 1962
Capacity 155,000 Direction ‘Figure of Eight’

Opened in 1962 as a Honda test track, Suzuka GP Circuit has become world renowned for its challenging mix of corners and its unique ‘Figure of Eight’ layout. Drivers rate this track highly for its complexity. Suzuka is home to several big-name events throughout the year, including the FIA World Touring Car Cup, Super GT and Formula 1 championships.

The Event

2019 Super Formula Championship Suzuka I – 19-21 April 2019
Free Practice Session 1 Fri 12:40 Free Practice Session 2
Fri 10:15
Qualifying Session Sat 15:45 Race (43 laps) Sun 14:00-15:30

All session times quoted in Japan Standard Time (UTC/GMT + 9:00)

Rewind to 2018

The 2018 season-opener at Suzuka granted Naoki Yamamoto his first of three wins for the season, which would help propel him to the Drivers’ Championship at the end of the year. After qualifying first, Yamamoto held his place throughout the race to claim victory.

Completing the podium positions (pictured) were Yuhi Sekiguchi, racing for TEAM IMPUL and Tomoki Nojiri, racing for TEAM MUGEN.

The Suzuka Form Guide

After winning the 2018 season, Naoki Yamamoto of TEAM MUGEN is one to watch as he tries to replicate his victory at the opener last season. Other racers to watch for include Nick Cassidy of KONDO RACING, who placed second in last year’s championship and Hirokai Ishiura of JMS P.MU/CERUMO・INGING who placed third.

After pre-season testing, Ryo Hirakawa of TEAM IMPUL fronted the fasted time at Fuji Speedway on Day 2 of testing, with a 1:21.991 – some two seconds quicker than pole position in 2018. Other times were posted in the 1:22 range by Daniel Tickturn of TEAM MUGEN, Sho Tsuboi of JMS P.MU/CERUMO INGING and his teammate Hiroaki Ishiura. Season champion Naoki Yamamoto posted a 1:22.786 during the morning session.

Image via LAT

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Keegan Bennett

Journalist - Japanese Motorsport at MotorsportM8

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