The organisers of Japan’s flagship Super Formula series plan to introduce a new car for 2019 that is even faster than the current one.
Super Formula’s existing Dallara SF14 car is currently in its fourth season, and it is understood that promoter JRP is presently discussing plans for a new SF19 with the teams.
This would almost certainly be an evolution by Dallara of the SF14, and the project will go ahead subject to the teams’ approval.
JRP president Akira Kurashita told Motorsport.com: “It’s possible that we may release the SF19 in 2019.
“Just as we have a very good car with the SF14, we plan to use the SF19 to make the series even better and make it more interesting.
“It’s not set in stone that the car will be released then, but that’s what we’re planning on now – we would like to build up the Super Formula brand and grow it to make it more popular.”
Prime and option tyres
Super Formula organisers are hoping to address the category’s biggest problem, a lack of overtaking.
The existing Yokohama tyres are viewed by some as too durable – a point raised by championship leader Andre Lotterer at the recent Okayama round – as many drivers set their fastest laps right at the end of the races after long stints on the rubber.
Yokohama is to be asked to look into providing a second compound to not only make laptimes faster but also increase degradation, and to provide strategic variation by having ‘prime’ and ‘option’ tyres available.
The company did this on a one-off experimental basis for last year’s Motegi round, but the two different compounds had a similar lifespan.
Super Formula looks likely to stick with the IndyCar-style push-to-pass system.
Shiro Matsunaga of Le Mans Company, the country’s Dallara importer, said: “We are considering DRS, but some say this makes overtaking too easy.”