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Super Formula racers impressed by IndyCar, NASCAR on Indy visit

Super Formula racers Toshiki Oyu and Kazuto Kotaka say they were impressed on their visit to the IndyCar and NASCAR paddocks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last weekend.

Kamui Kobayashi, 23XI Racing, Toyota Genuine Parts Toyota Camry

Oyu and Kotaka both took the opportunity to visit Indy as guests of fellow Super Formula racer Kamui Kobayashi, who was in action at the wheel of a Toyota NASCAR Cup car for 23XI Racing on the Indianapolis road course.

With IndyCar taking place on the same weekend, it was an opportunity for both youngsters to experience the paddocks of the two biggest racing series in the United States.

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Honda driver Oyu has never made any secret of his desire to race overseas in the future, and said he took the chance to introduce himself to teams in pursuit of that goal at Indy. 

“I’m aiming to race overseas in future, so I wanted to start by making contact with people over there,” Oyu told Motorsport.com’s Japanese edition ahead of this weekend’s seventh round of the Super Formula season at Motegi.

“It’s not about next season, but I had a lot of good conversations about the future. Part of me wishes I could go there [to race] immediately, so I wanted to take the chance to go.”

 

Oyu added that he was wowed by the experience of seeing IndyCar and NASCAR first-hand, contrasting it to Japan’s top Super Formula and SUPER GT series.

“Everything is different,” he said. “In terms of the level of investment and entertainment factor, the scale is different. In Japan, car racing’s value isn’t that high, but in America it has its own culture that goes beyond [road] car culture. It’s like baseball in Japan. 

“I was also surprised at the high level of effort that goes into perfecting the car. In Japan, we do what we can, but the money involved is totally different. The way they work is also different. The team does what it needs to [efficiently], and then leaves promptly.”

Toyota youngster Kotaka likewise was left impressed by his visit, as he likewise expressed a desire to race overseas in the future.

“The Super Formula car is faster, but if you look at it from an entertainment point of view, the sound [of NASCAR] is very appealing,” Kotaka told Motorsport.com’s Japanese edition. “Recently F1 has become quieter, so only NASCAR has this amazing sound.

 

“Not only was the main grandstand filled, but also the stands at the first corner. Unlike in Japan, all the corner stands had a lot of people.

“In Japanese racing, there is nothing higher than Super Formula or SUPER GT, and I think I can return there when I’m older, so I want to take on the challenge while I’m young if there’s the chance.

“The food and toilets are better in Japan, but the racing is better overseas!”

Motorsport.tv is showing all Super Formula qualifying sessions and races live in 2023. Click here for further information and to sign up today.

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