McLaren F1's Stoffel Vandoorne makes Super Formula test debut

McLaren Formula 1 junior driver and GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne was eighth fastest during the first day of this week's Japanese Super Formula test at Suzuka

McLaren F1's Stoffel Vandoorne makes Super Formula test debut

The Belgian, who wrapped up the GP2 crown with two events to spare during the Russian Grand Prix weekend, drove for the Honda-powered Team Dandelion Racing squad on Wednesday before heading to Abu Dhabi for the GP2 finale.

Vandoorne was eighth fastest out of 23 drivers in attendance, 5.7 seconds off the pace in a day disrupted by wet conditions.

"Cool experience today with the Super Formula car," said Vandoorne on Twitter.

"Not the easiest of days with some technical issues, but I enjoyed every second of it.

"Finally got to drive the great Suzuka circuit. Back to Abu Dhabi now for the last GP2 race."

Super Formula could be an option for Vandoorne to continue racing alongside his role as McLaren F1 reserve in 2016, where he replaces the outgoing Kevin Magnussen as understudy to Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.

Japanese Super GT racer Yuhi Sekiguchi - who finished 16th in last weekend's F3 Macau Grand Prix - topped the first day of the test for the Toyota-powered Team Impul, ahead of series regulars Andre Lotterer and Joao Paulo de Oliveira.

Vandoorne's fellow GP2 racer Richie Stanaway was fifth quickest for Team Mugen, while other newcomers included IndyCar driver Stefano Coletti (11th for Team Dandelion) and Japanese Formula 3 champion Nick Cassidy (17th for Kondo Racing). Formula Renault 3.5 racer Jazeman Jaafar is also in attendance for Team Dandelion.

The test continues on Thursday.

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