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Super Formula reveals extensive next-gen testing plans

Super Formula has revealed an extensive test programme with two special development cars as it seeks to develop carbon-neutral fuels and environmentally-friendly bodywork for use in future seasons.

SF19 test car

The two mule cars were displayed in a special press conference held at Suzuka on Saturday as part of the Japanese Grand Prix venue's 'Fan Thanks Day', where Yoshihisa Ueno, boss of series promoter JRP, and all 21 drivers that will take part in the 2022 season were in attendance.

It was revealed that the cars will take to the track for a total of 14 days, testing for two days either before or after each of the seven Super Formula race weekends in 2022, starting at Fuji in April.

Two-time series champion Hiroaki Ishiura, who retired from Super Formula following the 2020 season, and Honda stalwart Koudai Tsukakoshi were named as development drivers.

In addition to using carbon-neutral fuel, as announced by Super Formula last year, Japan's top single-seater series is also seeking to reduce its carbon footprint with the use of new-generation Yokohama tyres made from "natural compound agents" and other reusable materials.

As announced last month, a new sole-supply contract has accordingly been struck with Yokohama covering 2023 and beyond.

Bcomp, a Swiss-based composites manufacturer, has also been recruited to create bodywork crafted from "sustainable lightweight hemp" that, it is claimed, produces 75% less CO2 emissions than carbon fibre.

No specific timeline has been announced for these innovations to be introduced for racing, but they could coincide with the expected introduction of a new chassis to replace the Dallara SF19 in 2024.

In addition, Super Formula is hoping to use its development programme to adjust the aerodynamics of the SF19 in a bid to make it easier for cars to follow each other more closely and promote overtaking.

2022 Super Formula development schedule:

Round

Race dates

Venue

Test dates

Round 1-2

8-10 April 

Fuji Speedway

6-7 April 

Round 3

23-24 April

Suzuka Circuit

25-26 April 

Round 4

21-22 May 

Autopolis

18-19 May 

Round 5

18-19 June 

Sportsland Sugo

20-21 June 

Round 6

16-17 July

Fuji Speedway

18-19 July

Round 7-8

19-21 August 

Twin Ring Motegi

17-18 August 

Round 9-10

28-30 October 

Suzuka Circuit 26-27 October

 

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