Nakajima Racing’s Tadasuke Makino will miss this weekend’s Super Formula season finale after going down with meningitis, and will be replaced by fellow Honda junior Hiroki Otsu.
Makino, a race-winner in Formula 2 before stepping up to SF, is the 2020 Super GT champion and is currently 12th in the SF points with one podium to his name.
In his rookie SF season with Nakajima last year he took pole on his debut but only scored points in a race once.
“Although it was announced by the team, I will miss the final round of Super Formula,” said Makino.
“After the race at Suzuka in the previous round, I got sick and after a detailed examination, I was diagnosed with meningitis and have been hospitalized since last Wednesday.
“All I can do is rest and rest well so that I can recover quickly. I apologize for the inconvenience.”
Otsu was in contention to be Makino’s team-mate this season, eventually losing out on the seat to Toshiki Oyu, and has raced in Super Formula Lights predecessor Japanese Fromula 3 in the past.
He finished third in Japanese Formula 4 in 2015, picked up his first F3 win in 2017 and returned to the series last year with the Tomei-powered ThreeBond team and claimed three podiums.
While he missed out on a 2020 SF drive to Oyu, his 2019 performances in Super GT300 earned him a promotion to Super GT with Nakajima as part of Honda’s factory line-up and he claimed two poles on the way to 12th in the points.