Super Formula test offers more Honda 2022 line-up clues
Honda's plans for its 2022 Super Formula line-ups have become clearer with the unofficial revelation of which drivers will participate for which teams in this week's post-season test at Suzuka.
Last week, series organisers released a list of drivers that will participate in the three-day test, which starts on Tuesday, but unusually without specifying which team they will be driving for.
However, on the eve of test it has become clear which teams each driver will be in action for, with Toyota having already confirmed its full driver line-up for the 2022 campaign.
Nakajima however was named on last week's driver list and will get some running this week sharing Rookie Racing's sole entry with the team's regular driver Kazuya Oshima.
KCMG has also confirmed that Atsushi Miyake will share a car with Yuji Kunimoto for the first two days of the test before driving alone on the third day, which is reserved for rookie drivers.
In the Honda camp, one of the main changes from the 2021 line-up is series runner-up Nirei Fukuzumi moving from Dandelion Racing to the one-car Drago Corse team, replacing Tatiana Calderon.
Fukuzumi's place at Dandelion alongside Tadasuke Makino is taken for this test by Hiroki Otsu, who moves across from Team Mugen.
Super Formula Lights graduate Ren Sato takes over Otsu's spot at Mugen next to 2021 champion Tomoki Nojiri, despite the backlash that followed his involvement in the incident at Fuji Speedway that cost Honda's Naoki Yamamoto the SUPER GT title.
Toshiki Oyu remains at Nakajima Racing alongside Yamamoto for now despite having been linked to a move elsewhere for the 2022 campaign, while Ukyo Sasahara remains a notable absentee from the test line-up.
Nobuharu Matsushita is however expected to participate with B-Max despite not being named on last week's driver list.
Super Formula Lights testing took place on Monday at Suzuka, with TOM'S driver Kazuko Kotaka setting the pace across the two sessions ahead of Honda junior Kakunoshin Ota for B-Max.
Ota was one of three Honda Japanese F4 graduates in action on Monday alongside Iori Kimura and Shun Koide, who were fourth- and fifth-fastest respectively behind B-Max's Matsushita.
Kimura and Koide both spent one session each driving for Toda Racing and B-Max, with both setting their fastest times driving for the latter team, while Ota spent the entire day with B-Max.
UPDATE: The official entry list was unveiled on Tuesday morning at Suzuka. Nojiri is entered in both Mugen cars, while Hibiki Taira will drive for Rookie Racing in Thursday morning's rookie-only sessions.
Sato and Miyake are the only others set to be in action on Thursday, which is reserved for drivers who have made three Super Formula starts or fewer.
Suzuka test entry list (December 7-9):
|Nakajima Racing/Honda||1|| |
|Kondo Racing/Toyota||3||Kenta Yamashita|
|Dandelion Racing/Honda||5||Tadasuke Makino|
|Drago Corse/Honda||12||Nirei Fukuzumi|
|Rookie Racing/Toyota||14|| |
|B-Max Racing/Honda||50|| |
* Only running on Thursday
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