This weekend is set to see Super Formula contest two races at the Suzuka Circuit, the penultimate venue on its reworked 2020 calendar.
Ryo Hirakawa leads the Drivers’ Championship despite failing to finish inside the points in the previous round at Autopolis. He has an 11 point lead over nearest challenger Nick Cassidy entering the weekend’s double header.
Cassidy has a four point advantage over Tomoki Nojiri who is third in the championship. Nojiri claimed pole position and the race victory last time out and has scored points in all of the four races contested so far this season, as has Cassidy.
Nojiri has a four point advantage of his own over Naoki Yamamoto who followed up a third place finish in Sugo with a top three qualifying in Autopolis, which he converted into a second place finish. It gives Yamamoto a five point advantage over Kenta Yamashita in the championship.
The final podium finisher in Autopolis was Tadasuke Makino who lies ninth in the championship going into this weekend. He has scored points in three of the four races held this season and is one in a group of seven drivers covered by 13 points, from fifth down to eleventh.
A word on Sacha Fenestraz who is part of that seven driver group. The Frenchman failed once again to finish at Autopolis making it three consecutive retirements in a row ahead of this weekend’s double header. His only points finish came in the season opener at Motegi while he has also scored points from qualifying in three of the four races held this season. Fortunately Fenestraz has two attempts to finish a race this weekend.
Also a word on Nobuharu Matshushita who made a return to Super Formula in Autopolis. The Japanese driver finished inside the points in sixth, meaning he lies fifteenth in the championship going into this weekend’s double header. He is expected to contest the remining races of the 2020 season and is within three points of Kazuki Nakajima in twelfth.
In the Teams’ Championship Team TOM’s have a four point advantage over Team Impul with the former getting both cars into the points in Autopolis while the latter failed to score any points last time out. Behind them are Team Dandelion Racing and INGING who are separated by two points heading into this weekend. Team Dandelion Racing are six points behind Team Impul.
Four points behind INGING are Kondo Racing who have a four point gap of their own over Team Mugen. There is then a 15 point gap separating sixth placed Team Mugen and the pair of Nakajima Racing and Team KCMG.