Stanaway and Cassidy test Japanese Super Formula class
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Young New Zealand racing drivers Richie Stanaway and Nick Cassidy have had their first taste of performance from the quickest single-seater racing cars outside of Formula 1.
The Kiwi duo took part in a end-of-season rookie test and Yokohama tyre development programme for Japan’s Super Formula category at Suzuka circuit on Wednesday and Thursday.
Cassidy, who won the Japanese Formula 3 title this year, drove for the Kondo team in a Toyota engined SF car and was 12th fastest while Stanaway followed up his successful Audi LMP1 test at Bahrain last weekend with a test outing for Team Mugen (Honda).
Audi Le Mans driver and 2011 Super Formula (previously Formula Nippon) champion Andre Lotterer (Germany) set the test pace in the two-day test which saw part of the Wednesday running in wet conditions and most of the fastest times set on Thursday.
Lotterer’s fastest lap was 1m 37.695sec laps while Cassidy’s best lap was 1m 38.757secs and Stanaway was 15th fastest of the 24 drivers at 1m 38.861secs.
Also participating in the test were ex-Formula 1 drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Kazuki Nakajima along with newly crowned GP2 Series champion Stoffel Vandoorne.
‘‘With very few opportunities available for drivers like me wanting to move to F1 at the moment, Super Formula can be a good place get noticed, especially with the manufacturers involved,’’ Stanaway had said before the test.
Stanaway said the Super Formula racer was the fastest car he has driven with the performance being a step up from the GP2 Series car — in which he has won two races during 2015.
The Super Formula racer uses a Dallara built chassis powered by 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged direct injection engines supplied from Honda and Toyota which produce about 550-horsepower.
The category is preparing to switch from Bridgestone to Yokohama tyre supply in 2016.