Home News Kazuto Kotaka tops day one of post-season Super Formula Lights test

Kazuto Kotaka tops day one of post-season Super Formula Lights test

by Ida Wood

Photo: Super Formula Lights

Kazuto Kotaka was fastest for TOM’S on a wet opening day of post-season Super Formula Lights testing at Suzuka, with 15 drivers taking part.

It was B-MAX Racing’s Kakunoshin Ohta, who has raced in Formula Regional Japanese Championship and Japanese Formula 4 this year, setting the pace in the morning as he posted 38 laps and a fastest time of 2m05.663s.

Nobody surpassed his lap tally, but Super Formula racer Nobuharu Matsushita was just 0.124 seconds slower than Ohta as he did development work for the B-Max Engineering team.

Toyota junior Kotaka, who also raced in SF this year as a stand-in driver for Kamui Kobayashi at KCMG, was third fastest and set 21 laps – the least of anyone. His best effort put him 0.005s ahead of Honda junior and F4 graduate Syun Koide.

Japanese F4 champion Seita Nonaka, another Toyota junior, was fifth for RS Fine. He stood in for Kotaka at TOM’S in SF Lights this year while Kotaka was appearing in SF.

The pace improved for some in the afternoon, while the track was still wet, with Kotaka bettering Ohta’s morning benchmark by 0.084s as he again only fleetingly took to the track.

Honda protege Iori Kumura switched teams from Toda Racing (which uses Spiess power) to B-MAX during lunchtime and was second fastest in the afternoon. That placed the F4 racer fourth for the day behind Matsushita.

No other driver broke into the 2m05s, with Nonaka 0.426s back and Seiya Motojima putting Rn-sports in seventh place overall and just 0.522s off the pace as he moved up from F4.

Super GT300 racers Togo Suganami (B-MAX) and Yuui Tsutsumi (Rn-sports) both got in a second of the pace on their return to single-seater machinery, and FRJC points leader Yuga Furutani (TOM’S) completed the top 10.

Other surprise entrants included 2020 Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific champion Yudai Uchida at B-Max Engineering and Yuya Hiraki driving for his own Helm Motorsports team.

The 25-year-old, a race-winner in Japanese F4 five years ago launched the team in 2020 with his brother Reiji, who ended up driving for it and becoming 2020 Japanese F4 runner-up.

Reiji then joined Super GT300 regular Yuya in a shared car this year in the sportscar series, and he also took to the wheel of one of the team’s Dallara 320s on Monday but both were off the pace in the SF Lights test.

 Test results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Kazuto Kotaka TOM’S 2m05.579s 37
2 Kakunoshin Ohta B-MAX Racing 2m05.663s +0.084s 61
3 Nobuharu Matsushita B-Max Engineering 2m05.787s +0.208s 22
4 Iori Kimura Toda Racing/B-MAX Racing 2m05.843s +0.264s 78
5 Syun Koide B-MAX Racing/Toda Racing 2m05.951s +0.372s 75
6 Seita Nonaka RS Fine 2m06.005s +0.426s 67
7 Seiya Motojima Rn-sports 2m06.101s +0.522s 53
8 Togo Suganami B-MAX Racing 2m06.289s +0.710s 65
9 Yuui Tsutsumi Rn-sports 2m06.435s +0.856s 62
10 Yuga Furutani TOM’S 2m06.545s +0.966s 83
11 Hibiki Taira TOM’S 2m06.734s +1.155s 75
12 Yudai Uchida B-Max Engineering 2m08.439s +2.860s 54
13 Nobuhiro Imada B-Max Engineering 2m08.719s +3.140s 32
14 Reiji Hiraki Helm Motorsports 2m08.740s +3.161s 49
15 Yuya Hiraki Helm Motorsports 2m11.054s +5.475s 23
16 DRAGON B-Max Engineering no time 0
17 Masayuki Ueda Rn-sports no time 0