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Juju Noda lands Super Formula test chance with TGM

Juju Noda will get her first taste of a Super Formula car in the series’ official post-season test at Suzuka next month.

Juju Noda, NODA Racing

Noda will sample TGM’s Honda-powered SF23 at the Suzuka Circuit on 6-8 December, a homecoming of sorts for the 17-year-old who has spent her entire professional career in Europe so far.

Nobuharu Matsushita and Rasmus Lindh will also be present at the test, splitting driving duties in TGM's other #55 car.

Noda explained she now feels ready to drive a high-downforce, high-power single-seater car after her race-winning campaign in Euroformula Open, albeit one that ended just halfway through the eight-round season.

“I have been racing F4 and F3 in Europe for 4 years, but I have never participated in an official race in Japan,” said Noda, who is the daughter of former Formula 1 driver Hideki.

“I am very excited to participate in the Super Formula joint test/rookie driver test, which is the highest level in Japan, as I have no experience in official races in Japan.

“I am now ready to take on a bigger challenge. I will not give up even if we lose or even if we are losing.

“I will do my best to challenge with my own driving as I have always done, so please watch over me warmly.

“I will be running in front of you, my supporters, for the first time in 4 years.”

Toshiki Oyu, TGM Grand Prix

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Toshiki Oyu, TGM Grand Prix

TGM team principal Kazuhiro Ikeda acknowledged that Super Formula is a difficult category for rookies, but feels his squad can allow her talent to shine.

“We are very pleased to welcome Juju to the TGM Grand Prix team for this joint test,” said Ikeda. “Juju has an outstanding record of driving high power machines, and we believe that he is ready to test in Super Formula.

“In this category where there are many veterans, it is a very high hurdle for a rookie to achieve a result. We are confident that the results will be achieved with Juju's spirit of ‘never give up, even when losing’. 

“We are very much looking forward to helping Juju's talent blossom even more with our knowledge, skills, and experience.”

The rebranded TGM team started the 2023 season with rookie Cem Bolukbasi and one-time race winner Toshiki Oyu, but it split with the latter ahead of the final two races of the season.

His place at the Servus-run operation was taken over by Nissan GT300 Riki Okusa for the Suzuka double-header.

Oyu is not in contention for a 2024 drive at TGM and could entirely leave the Honda fold after a turbulent year in both Super Formula and Super GT, while Bolukbasi’s future at the team could depend upon the Turkish driver bringing in enough sponsorship to retain his seat.

Oyu’s third-place finish at Motegi was TGM’s only podium finish of the season.

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