Kazuki Nakajima (Vantelin Team TOM’s) will be looking to score some valuable points at this weekend’s race at Fuji Speedway to help his title bid in the Super Formula Championship.
The Japanese driver is currently second in the drivers’ standings on 11 points from winning the season opener at Suzuka. However, he failed scored in the two races at Okayama and is now only one point behind his team-mate André Lotterer.
The Fuji Speedway is one of Japan’s few International circuits and has hosted a 6-hour sports car race for the World Endurance Championship since 2012.
In last year’s race, Nakajima took the lead with sixth place early on and led most of the race, only for João Paulo de Oliveira to pass him along the pit straight with five laps to go.
It is worth noting that the Vantelin Team TOM’s team were fastest at the official Super Formula test at Fuji back in March. This was despite neither Nakajima or Lotterer being present due to their commitments in the World Endurance Championship.
Yuhi Sekiguchi (Itochu Enex Team Impul) finished third in last year’s race and considering he showed strong race pace in the second race at Okayama, he’ll be amongst the favourites to win on Sunday.
Defending champion Yuji Kunimoto (P.mu/cerumo INGING) will be hoping to have a better performance at Fuji this time having retired after contact with Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) at Turn 1 last year.
The rookies in the Super Formula series will be looking to make an impression, with Pierre Gasly (Team Mugen), Nick Cassidy, Kenta Yamashita (both Kondõ Racing) and Felix Rosenqvist (SUNOCO Team Le Mans) all demonstrating flashes of potential so far this season.
The weather will be a factor this weekend as well, with the current forecast predicted cloudy conditions. Regardless, this race is bound to be a thriller in the foothills of Mount Fuji.