Former Formula 2 racer Tatiana Calderon will miss the second Super Formula round of the season at Okayama, her ThreeBond Racing with Drago Corse team has announced.
The Colombian secured a visa to enter Japan to contest last month’s season opener at Twin Ring Motegi, and she qualified 18th and finished 12th on her category debut.
However she has been unable to secure dispensation to travel and then live in self-isolation for two weeks (or with permission to do so over a shorter period) to race in this weekend’s round as she spent last weekend at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Drago Corse will replace her with 33-year-old Super GT points leader Koudai Tsukakoshi, who finished second in Super Formula in 2012 and raced with Real Racing from 2013 through to when the team made its SF swansong last year.
Calderon finished 13th in the Le Mans 24 Hours, and several of the drivers she raced against are expected to be ruled out of racing at Okayama too.
Race winner Kazuki Nakajima and his Toyota team-mate Kamui Kobayashi will probably require their TOM’S and KCMG seats filled, with Super Formula Lights leader Ritomo Miyata a strong contender to substitute for Nakajima. Kenta Yamashita, currently second in the SF points but a retiree at Le Mans, will also need replacing at Kondo Racing.
SF has responded to Japan’s strict immigration rules that are aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 by bringing in dropped score to its seven-round season. This means drivers will be able to miss one or two rounds without their title hopes being completely ended.
Other grid changes for Okayama already confirmed include Ukyo Sasahara continuing to stand in for Juri Vips at Team Mugen, and factory Nissan driver Mitsunori Takaboshi making his debut with B-MAX Racing by Motopark.