Le Mans winners Team Goh to enter two cars in Super Formula

Le Mans 24 Hours-winning entrant Team Goh will field two cars in Super Formula this season in what is being billed as the squad's full return to racing.

Ren Sato, Red Bull MUGEN Team Goh

Team owner Kazumichi Goh described the programme as the squad's "proper return for the first time since 2004", when it triumphed at Le Mans with an Audi R8 LMP1 driven by Tom Kristensen, Rinaldo Capello and Seiji Ara.

He distinguished his latest project with previous campaigns including his name, which he explained were "not 100% Team Goh".

"This time we are serious," he told Autosport. "It will be a multi-year programme and I have some other ideas that I cannot talk about yet."

The team will field a pair of Honda-powered Dallara SF19s for Ren Sato and Atsushi Miyake, who are both graduating to the premier Japanese single-seater championship from the Super Formula Lights feeder series.

The cars will be run by the Goh squad's sister operation, Servus Japan, which was created out of Le Mans-winning team after 2004 as a service provider for other entrants.

Rinaldo Capello / Tom Kristensen / Seiji Ara, Audi Sport Japan Team Goh, Audi R8 takes the chequered flag for victory at the 2004 Le Mans 24 Hours

Rinaldo Capello / Tom Kristensen / Seiji Ara, Audi Sport Japan Team Goh, Audi R8 takes the chequered flag for victory at the 2004 Le Mans 24 Hours

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Goh explained that he was motivated to restart the team in order help young drivers to accelerate their careers internationally.

"One of the purposes of setting up a new team in Super Formula is to become a kind of development team," he said.

"Even though Super Formula is a top category, we hope we can help young drivers climb to a higher level of racing internationally."

He suggested that IndyCar teams were now looking to Super Formula for future drivers after the championship success in 2021 of Alex Palou, who Goh backed in his first year in the American single-seater series in 2020 at Dale Coyne Racing.

"A lot more people have an eye on the young drivers in Super Formula now after what Alex did last year," Goh explained.

Sato, who is backed by Honda, took third position in Super Formula Lights, the rebranded Japanese Formula 3 Championship, is well known to Goh: he drove a Servus-run Team Aguri Honda NSX GT3 Evo in Super GT last year. Goh would not be drawn on whether Sato's car will run in Red Bull colours in 2022.

Miyake finished one place behind Sato in fourth place in Lights last year.

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The full return of Team Goh in Super Formula follows the decision of Servus and Team Mugen to go their separate ways after winning the title last year with Tomoki Nojiri.

He drove one of two Dallaras run in conjunction with Servus alongside Hiroki Otsu, who raced under the Red Bull Mugen Team Goh banner.

The link-up dated back to 2017 when Mugen expanded to two cars when Alpha Tauri Formula 1 driver Pierre Gasly was placed in Super Formula by Red Bull.

Pierre Gasly (#15 TEAM MUGEN SF14), Super Formula, 2017, Motegi

Pierre Gasly (#15 TEAM MUGEN SF14), Super Formula, 2017, Motegi

Photo by: Yasushi Ishihara / LAT Images

Team Goh announced a return to the tracks in 2019 with the McLaren 720S GT3 in Super GT, but the car was entered under the flag of McLaren Customer Racing Japan and the programme ended after one season.

Goh explained that he doesn't count the assault on Le Mans in 2009 with a Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 as a true Team Goh effort because it was the "idea of four young mechanics who wanted to go back there".

Team Mugen will remain in the series with a slimmed down one-car entry for reigning champion Nojiri.


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