Home Formula 3Euroformula Hideki Noda speaks about Noda Racing’s Euroformula exit

Hideki Noda speaks about Noda Racing’s Euroformula exit

by Formula Scout

Photo: Austrian F3 Cup

Noda Racing withdrew from last weekend’s Euroformula round at the Red Bull Ring following a rule change that disadvantaged the team.

Until the the team had competee with a lighter car than rivals, benefiting from a rule that set a lower minimum combined weight of car and driver for entries driven by women.

That helped the team’s driver Juju Noda become more competitive, and she claimed her first win at Paul Ricard in July. Given she had now proven to be competitive, series promoter GT Sport opted to rescind the weight rule for the next round (with it likely only being scaled back rather than removed entirely had she not won). After finding out, Noda Racing withdrew.

“It’s a long story. People say quite a few things about regulation change but it’s not just that,” team principal Hideki Noda told Formula Scout.

“We can challenge the regulation change but what we are told to do is not just a ballast thing. If it’s a ballast thing we can put ballast but we have to develop the car with the ballast. It’s not easy just to put in ballast, you have to set up the car to adjust for this weight, so you need to spend time for testing.

“But we tested with the circumstances we were given. We tested last week and two weeks ago with what we are supposed to run.”

After Noda informed GT Sport of his intention to withdraw, GT Sport then spent several hours on the phone trying to convince him not to. Choosing not to race would only prove critics’ points about the weight advantage.

But on both sides the situation was about more than the weight. In addition to plenty of in-season testing, Noda Racing was also racing their Dallara 320 in the Austrian Formula 3 Cup and F2000 Italian Trophy, the latter who “are helping us a lot”.

In fact, after withdrawing from the Red Bull Ring, Noda entered daugher Juju into Austrian F3 at Brno and she took pole and two wins as well as demoing a Formula Renault 3.5 car.

Motopark’s Jakob Bergmeister moved into Euroformula’ rookie trophy lead in Noda’s absence, meaning her title ambitions lie firmly in the two series (primarily) for old F3 cars.

“Juju is competing in Zinox also and she is leading the championship and also here the Drexler Cup,” Noda Sr said at Brno.

“We made this entry before we do the Euroformula and this was the deal and they accepted it. But now they are telling us this is not the right thing to do because only Juju gets more track time.

“So to be equal to other driver, to carry on with Zinox [Italy] and Drexler [Austria] is not a nice thing to do, they [EFO] say. But I cannot stop racing in Zinox. These guys are helping us a lot and are very nice people, Juju is leading the championship in Zinox and I cannot stop this in the middle of the season.

“It is not just the ballast thing, its all the political things like this, so I don’t know what to do for the future.”

Noda Racing got permission to use different wheel rims in Euroformula to their opposition, which GT Sport told Formula Scout remains the case. The series’ teams also do not get on great with each other, but that was not instigated by Noda’s arrival.

“I wish they would announce everything that they told us but they only announced the ballast thing,” said Noda.

“Each time you get faster, they changed the regulation in Paul Ricard, the reason was that Juju was very fast at Hungaroring and she almost won the race.

“We went to Paul Ricard and she won the race and then okay if they want to change the regulation because she won the race in Paul Ricard, they could make this decision much earlier. We had more than one month off between Paul Ricard and Red Bull Ring. But only they come back to us this Monday.

“I told them ‘look, we had a conversation in Paul Ricard and they told us no more change in regulation during the season’, and then they came this Monday…”

Noda has not ruled out racing in Euroformula again this year, as he is currently undecided on if he should return to the series.

Noda interview by Roger Gascoigne
GT Sport interview by Ida Wood