Sasahara not giving up on Super Formula despite failed Goh talks

Ukyo Sasahara insists that he hasn’t given up on being on the Super Formula grid in 2022 despite not being chosen to race for Honda squad Team Goh.

Sasahara not giving up on Super Formula despite failed Goh talks
Listen to this article

The chances of Sasahara finding a berth in Japan’s top single-seater series this season took a blow earlier this week, when rookie Atsushi Miyake was unveiled as Team Goh’s second driver for its first season as an independent team.

Read Also:

It leaves only the second seat at B-Max Racing unassigned with less than a month to go until the start of pre-season testing at Suzuka.

Sasahara’s only confirmed programme for 2022 so far is in SUPER GT with Honda outfit Team Mugen, with which he also contested the 2020 Super Formula season as a substitute for absent Red Bull junior Juri Vips.

He then filled in for an unwell Tadasuke Makino at Dandelion Racing for the opening two races in 2021, scoring a podium at Suzuka, but was passed up for a full-time seat at the team this year in favour of Hiroki Otsu – who also replaced him at Mugen for 2021.


B-Max had been targeting a foreign driver with a budget to fill its second seat alongside Nobuharu Matsushita, but with Japan’s travel restrictions still preventing newcomers from entering the country, it’s likely the team would have to sign a domestic driver if it still wishes to field a two-car entry.

“When it comes to contract negotiations, the people supporting me are looking for possibilities,” Sasahara told’s Japanese edition. “Of course, I want to race in Super Formula and I’m working hard to achieve that.

“It's not like I'm doing nothing. The people supporting me are doing their best to allow me race in Super Formula.”

Goh team boss Kazuhiro Ikeda clarified on Twitter that the newly-independent outfit held talks with Sasahara, but that they "couldn't reach an agreement about our conditions and aims before time ran out".

Sasahara said he was happy to see that so many fans had responded with his name to a Goh social media post last month asking who should fill the squad’s second seat alongside the previously-announced Ren Sato.

“I’m really grateful that so many fans recognise me as ‘a driver that deserves to be in Super Formula’,” said the 25-year-old. “I’m thankful for their support.”

F4 race winner Otaki targeting SF move

Sasahara could have a surprise rival for the second B-Max seat in the form of Japanese Formula 4 race winner Takuya Otaki.

A brochure aimed at prospective sponsors produced by Otaki was posted on Facebook last week, appearing to reveal that the 26-year-old is trying to assemble a budget to compete in Super Formula in 2022.

Otaki (right) is a former rival of now-AlphaTauri Formula 1 racer Yuki Tsunoda (middle)

Otaki (right) is a former rival of now-AlphaTauri Formula 1 racer Yuki Tsunoda (middle)

It claimed that Otaki had been made an offer for a Super Formula drive for 50 million yen (approx. $430,000) without specifying a team, although B-Max is now the only team on the grid with a vacancy available.

In the event Otaki is able to land the drive, it would mark his first full season in single-seaters since he contested the 2018 Japanese Formula 4 series, although he did contest a partial campaign in the series last year. has reached out to Otaki for comment.


HPD extends Super Formula scholarship through 2023

How Goh’s left-field pick earned his Super Formula chance