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Nissan's Takaboshi lands Super Formula development role

Nissan SUPER GT racer Mitsunori Takaboshi has been named as Super Formula's newest development driver, as the single-seater series prepares to resume its in-house test programme.

Takaboshi takes over driving duties for the Toyota-powered 'Akatora' (Red tiger) SF23 development car from Ukyo Sasahara, who returned to a race seat with TOM'S in last month's Fuji round.

Long-time Honda driver Koudai Tsukakoshi meanwhile continues in his role as the driver of the 'Shirotora' (White tiger).

Takaboshi and Tsukakoshi are slated to take part in two tests at Motegi, the first of which will be held over two days on September 11-12.

The second test will take place on November 21, following the conclusion of the season in October.

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Super Formula hasn't stated its objectives for these tests, but one item on its agenda from last year that it has not been able to fully implement yet is the introduction of carbon-neutral fuel.

Several types of renewable fuel were trialled during last year's extensive development programme, which paved the way for the introduction of this year's updated SF23 car, but the series opted to stick with regular gasoline for 2023 over concerns regarding costs and logistics.

Besides a revised aerodynamic package aimed at enhancing the racing, the 2022 test programme also led to the introduction of Yokohama tyres featuring sustainable materials and flax fibre body panels.

Takaboshi's appointment is significant because Nissan SUPER GT drivers have had few opportunities to race in Super Formula in recent years owing to the company's rivalry with Toyota and Honda.

However, the 30-year-old has two Super Formula starts to his name: he made his debut at Okayama in 2020 for B-Max Racing, filling in for Sergio Sette Camara, before making a one-off outing for Team Impul at Sugo the following season in place of an absent Ryo Hirakawa. 

 

Takaboshi has also been at the wheel of a single-seater more recently as the development driver for the next-generation Super Formula Lights engine.

Super Formula's statement specifically thanked Nissan for agreeing to allow Takaboshi to take up the role.

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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