NEWS & RACES
Ren Sato recorded the fastest lap time in Session 3 at Fuji Speedway
The official 2-day test of the 2022 SUPER FORMULA Championship was held at Fuji Speedway on 22nd and 23rd March.
As Fuji is to host the opening round of the 2022 Championship, this final pre-season test was seen as the most important of all.
Ren Sato, car no. 53, did not take to the track in the morning’s Session 1. Subsequently due to severe weather conditions with snowfall in the afternoon, Session 2 was cancelled.
With calm conditions and under clear skies, in stark contrast to the previous day, and with temperatures still at 0°C, Session 3 on Day 2 began on time at 9.50am. No sooner had the session started than car no. 53 took to the circuit with only a slight headwind on the home straight to contend with.
The team had opted to do short runs in the morning and nearing the end of the session, on lap 39, when out on a set of new tyres, Sato recorded a time of 1:21.815.
(If equal lap times are recorded, the order set by the time at which the lap was recorded)
During the afternoon’s Session 4 the team worked on their long run set-up before reverting to the shorter runs in the latter half of the afternoon, but with track surface temperatures rapidly cooling they struggled to warm up the tyres and eventually the session had to be red flagged bringing the Fuji test to a premature end.
Ren Sato, Driver, #53
“On the second day we began the morning concentrating on short runs and recorded the fastest lap in Session 3 which was great. We worked on long run simulations in the afternoon in preparation for the race as well as practising our starts and pit work. We encountered some issues which we were able to address in order to improve them before the start of the season. Fuji is not only my favourite track, but it’s also our first race and this test has given me a great deal of confidence so I want to use it to make sure we get a good result.”
Masashi Yamamoto, Team Director
“We spent today’s morning session working on short run set-up and made a significant step forward as we were able to record the fastest time equalling the leader of the session. We did race simulation in the afternoon as well as a long run test which showed up some issues. Unfortunately when we tried to push on the new tyres the track temperature had significantly dropped which meant we struggled to heat up the tyres and get any grip. Then came a red flag before Sato could finish his hot lap, but all in all it was a very productive test which increases my expectations for the start of the season.”
Ryan Dingle, Engineer, #53.
“Having had to forego a run on the first day, Ren showed his speed with a good set of short runs during the morning of the second day. We started the afternoon with a long run set-up, but encountered some problems and lost a bit of time so we switched back to the short set-up and were able to turn some good times on used tyres just as we had experienced in the morning. But setting a hot lap on new tyres was difficult because of the very low track temperatures, then half way through the session we were thwarted by a red flag which brought everything to an abrupt end.
Overall I believe it was a very positive test; we were able to reaffirm the good points learned at our Suzuka test by doing practice starts, pit outs as well as out-lap preparations for the race. Consequently most of the base set-up has been completed, although there is still room for improvement and refinement before the start of the season as we need to make further detailed adjustments for the actual race.
Since the opening round of the Championship is a double-header, I want to get as far ahead with qualifying as possible in order to get some good points on the table, then I hope we can aim even higher in the second race.”