Home Featured Hibiki Taira to make Super Formula debut with Team Impul at Sugo

Hibiki Taira to make Super Formula debut with Team Impul at Sugo

by Ida Wood

Photo: Super Formula Lights

Hibiki Taira will make his Super Formula debut at Sportsland SUGO next weekend for Team Impul.

The 23-year-old raced in single-seaters from 2018 to 2023, starting off with three years in Formula 4 and then three seasons in Super Formula Lights.

He started off with two rounds in F4 South East Asia, with three second places being his best results and putting him sixth in the standings. For 2019 he joined TOM’S Spirit in Japanese F4, and came seventh in the championship with one podium.

Toyota signed Taira as one of its junior drivers for 2020, and he romped to the Japanese F4 title with 10 victories from 12 races. He finished second and third in the two races he failed to win.

That earned him a step up to SF Lights with TOM’S, where he gradually built up his level of success. As a rookie he made the podium four times and came fifth in the points, in his second season he did not improve his championship position but did win two races and take four other podiums, then last year he was title runner-up with three wins, eight other podiums and four poles.

Taira has also been racing in Super GT’s GT300 class since 2021. He did three races that year and in 2022, with a first podium coming in the latter, then was championship runner-up last season with three second places and a pole.

Despite coming second in SF’s primary feeder series and in the second tier of Super GT competition, Taira failed to secure a step up the Japanese motorsport ladder for 2024. He has continued in Super GT300, and is currently points leader, while his SF opportunity has only emerged due to Impul having no permanent driver signed for its #19 car.

The team had signed reigning Formula 2 champion Theo Pourchaire for this season, but he then got poached by McLaren’s IndyCar squad after just one race. Ben Barnicoat was called up to drive the car for round two, and Impul has said no decision has been made on who will drive the car in the remaining four rounds after Taira makes his debut at Sugo.