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Super Formula Lights to become a spec-engine series in 2024

by Ida Wood

Photo: Super Formula Lights

Super Formula Lights is moving away from its Formula 3 origins by introducing a spec engine for 2024 rather than have multiple suppliers.

Created in 1979, Japanese F3 ran for 41 years before the FIA’s decision to turn F3 from an open category into a single spec series prompted Europe and Japan’s F3 series to commission Dallara to design a halo-shod chassis that could continue the sprint of F3 visually and also by being usable with different engine suppliers.

The outcome was the Dallara 320, and Japanese F3 rebranded to SF Lights for the 2020 season. Four of the previous year’s engine suppliers remained in the series as it introduced its new car, and that reduced to three in 2021 as tuners Spiess and TOM’S became fully responsible for the engines previously manufactured as Volkswagen and Toyota units.

Today, the series organiser announced testing had begun of a new engine planned to be used in all cars for 2024. Current points leader Iori Kimura did two days of running at the Modena circuit in Italy last week in a Dallara 320, and during this weekend’s third SF Lights round at Suzuka a Toyota GR Yaris road car containing the engine will take to track for testing.

The TOM’S-developed engine is “more sustainable” than current units – that have not been developed much since their introduction in F3 series across the world in the 2010s – and is based on the 1.6-litre three-cylinder turbocharged Toyota G16E-GTS engine with an expected power output of 276 horsepower.

By switching to a turbocharged engine it brings SF Lights closer to its parent series Super Formula and to the current era of F3 cars.