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Super Formula Lights reveals plans for one-make engine

Super Formula Lights has announced plans to switch to a one-make engine, revealing that a new Toyota-derived unit is already in development.

Iori Kimura, B-MAX RACING TEAM

Open engine competition was a feature of the old All-Japan Formula 3 series, and has continued in Super Formula Lights, which began in 2020 with the arrival of the current Dallara 320 chassis.

TOM'S, Spiess and Tomei are the engine manufacturers currently represented, although TOM'S only supplies its own cars and the ThreeBond-branded Tomei unit is only used by one of B-Max Racing's Masters Class entries.

Super Formula Lights has now revealed that, in the coming seasons, a new engine developed by TOM'S, dubbed the TGE33, will be introduced for all competitors.

The TGE33 is based upon the three-cylinder, 1.6-litre turbocharged G16E-GTS engine used in the Toyota GR Yaris, producing an estimated 276bhp.

It signifies a move away from the current generation of normally-aspirated engines, bringing the series more in line with Super Formula, which has long since used turbo-powered cars, as well as international categories such as FIA Formula 3 and Formula 2.

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Testing with the new engine commenced last week with B-Max driver Iori Kimura completing two days of shakedown running at the Autodromo di Modena in Italy. Testing will continue this week at Suzuka, where the third round of the 2023 season is being held.

"Because the current normally-aspirated engine is becoming a turbo, I was a little worried about the response, but in fact from start to finish I didn't have any uncomfortable feeling for the whole two days," commented Kimura.

"There is more power than the current engine, so I think we will be able to extract even more performance from the excellent aerodynamics of the current Super Formula Lights car, and that the balance between power and aerodynamics will be better than it is now."

No timeframe has been established for the new engine to be phased in, with the series merely stating it is aiming to introduce it in the "near future". 

It added further testing will be held in practice sessions in the run-up to each of the remaining rounds on the 2023 schedule.

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