NEWS & RACES

2022.07.18

Ren Sato finished Round 6 in 6th place, and gained 5 points

Round 6 at Fuji Speedway4.563km

 

・16 July: Qualifying – P16 (1’39.860)

Weather: Rain  Temperature: 22℃ Track Conditions: Wet, 24℃

・17 July: Race – P6

Weather: Fine  Temperature: 27℃ Track Conditions: Dry, 37℃

Having started from 16th on the grid in TEAM GOH’s car no. 53, Ren Sato enjoyed his third points scoring race of the season at Round 6 of the 2022 All Japan Super Formula Championship held at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture on Sunday, 17th July. These were Sato’s first points since Round 3 in Suzuka, so his points tally for the season so far now stands at 10.

Ren Sato, Driver

“I believe I had a good race pace this weekend. I started 16th on the grid, but was able to recover to finish 6th in the race and certainly the timing of the Safety Car helped.

 

Unfortunately I made a mistake at the beginning of the race which left me with a tyre flat spot causing me to struggle in some areas, but I believe by improving a step at a time in order to avoid such errors I will be able to get even better results.

 

I will now focus on my own improvements and work with the team to prepare for our next round in Motegi so that I can aim for the podium.”

Masashi Yamamoto, Team Director

“It had been tough qualifying in the rain, but having started the race from 16th position and by making good use of the Safety Car, Ren Sato was able to improve his position.

 

He flat spotted one of the tyres right after the start of the race which meant he had a problem with the balance of the car and he lost a few positions, but as a driver I asked him to do his best so that I could delay his pit stop which gave us a better strategy.

 

We had our sights on a 5th place finish, but despite coming very close on the final lap, the overtake just didn’t happen although it was a very close call.

However, Ren Sato was able to climb up the grid from 16th to 6th and get some points which is not bad.”

Ryan Dingle, Engineer

“Due to a series of yellow and red flags caused by the wet conditions during qualifying, Ren Sato did not get the opportunity to properly attack when it mattered the most and that resulted in him dropping down to 16th position.

 

On Sunday in FP2, barring one or two small changes, our base set-up was similar to the one we had used at Fuji in the opening two rounds of the Championship and it was generally agreed the feeling and performance of the car were not bad.

 

However, starting from 16th position on Sunday in the race, in order to be competitive, we had to be fast on the straights which meant we had to reduce the downforce level we had used in FP2.

 

Flat spotting the tyre at the beginning of the race was a real pity because Ren lost a lot of time, but once the tyre recovered his pace was good and he was able to improve his position. Finishing 6th was not what we were aiming for, but considering Ren had started in 16th, it’s not bad.

 

For our next round at Motegi we will have to try more aggressive strategies right from the get-go in FP1; we have to aim for a high performance in order to get a podium finish.”

2022.06.20

Atsushi Miyake finished 18th after a disappointing qualifying result — With 18 points gained in the first half of the season, Miyake is aiming for a more consistent performance in the second half

18 June: Weather: Fine  Temperature: 28℃ Track Conditions: Dry, 44℃

Qualifying – P21(1’05.736)

22 May: Weather: Fine  Temperature: 30℃ Track Conditions: Dry, 43℃

Race – P18

 

Round 5 of the 2022 All-Japan Super Formula Championship was held on Sunday, 19th June. The 53-lap race held at SUGO saw TEAM GOH’s Atsushi Miyake take the chequered flag in 18th place after a poor qualifying session meant he would start from the back of the grid. Despite being a rookie, he has gained a total of 18 points in the first half of this season and will be aiming for a more consistent performance in the second half.

Atsushi Miyake, Driver

“On Saturday morning in FP1 I wasn’t in a very good position, so I tried to improve both my driving and the set-up for Q1, but it didn’t really help, and I ended up at the back in qualifying. We changed the settings for the long run in the race which proved easy to drive, however, SUGO is a very narrow circuit and due to the turbulence from the cars in front of me, I often lost downforce so I couldn’t improve my position. I think the fact we qualified last was the reason for our defeat this time around.”

 

“Looking back on the first half of the season I finished on the podium at Autopolis and gained 18 points from five races, but despite the ups there were downs both at Suzuka and here in SUGO. The next round at Fuji, my second visit after the season opener, will be significant as rankings are important, but I want to work even harder in the second half of the season in order to achieve more consistent results and compete at a higher level.”

Masashi Yamamoto, Team Director

“We bought a car here to SUGO which we felt would suit Miyake’s driving style and it wasn’t far off, but the changing conditions for qualifying caused problems which resulted in giving Miyake difficulties with car set-up. During the race, a car in front of Miyake caused turbulence which gave him aero problems so he couldn’t really push hard, but despite this Miyake said his car was very drivable. We discussed qualifying and how it is key to race position and the fact that you need to be in front.”

 

“Sascha Fenestraz, who excelled today, was behind Miyake after the pit-stop and was unable to overtake for the entire race. That’s the biggest difficulty here in SUGO, it’s a narrow circuit and you have to qualify well in order to lead the race; as a rookie Team Director this is something I’ve learned.”

 

“As a team we got to understand the drivers and what they wanted from their cars in the first half of the season. Now we are trying new things and hoping the second half of the season will bring us a turnaround in the points standings. Even though our drivers are rookies, I’m hoping we can get on the podium and even aim for a win.”

Shintaro Okajima, Engineer

“We didn’t bring a good set-up here to SUGO which meant we weren’t able to solve the problems before qualifying. However, the qualifying session for our No. 53 sister car was relatively good, so we used their data for reference for FP2 on Sunday morning. We reviewed the aero balance and the mechanical set-up and it greatly improved the problems we had incurred on the first day so we went into the race without making any major changes. Kamui Kobayashi was in front of Miyake during the race which meant he incurred a lot of turbulence. However, when he wasn’t in the bad air the performance of the car was high and I received some good feedback from Miyake on how he felt in the car. This means we have found a good race set-up here in SUGO, but we still had some issues with our performance in the qualifying short runs.”

“The first half of the season was full of ups and down for Miyake in the No. 55 car. As a rookie to get on the podium in his fourth race must have been a good confidence boost for him, but we still need more podiums in the second half of the season to win the championship. We will now review the good and bad points from the first half of the season in order to prepare for the second half.”

2022.06.20

Ren Sato finished Round 5 in 16th place — Having gained a total of just 5 points in the first half of the 2022 season, Sato is eager to finish on the podium in the second half

18 June: Weather: Fine  Temperature: 28℃ Track Conditions: Dry, 44℃

Qualifying – P11 (1’05.535)

19 June: Weather: Fine  Temperature: 30℃ Track Conditions: Dry, 43℃

Race – P16

 

Sunday, 19th June, saw Sportsland SUGO, in Miyagi Prefecture, host Round 5 of the 2022 All-Japan Super Formula Championship. Ren Sato, at the wheel of TEAM GOH’s No. 53 car, started the race from 10th, one place higher than his qualifying position due to a grid penalty served on another competitor. Having finished the 53-lap race in 16th position, he now heads into the second half of the season with a total of five points.

Ren Sato, Driver

“I had very good pace in sectors 1 and 2 in my first qualifying attempt in SUGO, but I made a mistake in sector 3 which left me with a disappointing result. In Sunday’s race I kept pushing, but towards the end I overdid it, spun, and finished in 16th place.”

 

“Looking back on the first half of the season, my qualifying at the opening round in Fuji was good, but then my performance dropped away. However, here in SUGO my qualifying performance improved, and I felt I had made a step forward.  Also at each race my starts are

getting better, so returning to Fuji next month, where I got a front row start at the opening round, I want to qualify up front, get a good start and aim for the podium.”

Masashi Yamamoto, Team Director

“We have made it clear right through the last four rounds, from Fuji, through Suzuka and Autopolis to here at Sugo that we wanted to produce a car that suited Ren’s driving style as well as the car’s performance.  Our direction was right, but there were things we hadn’t finished in the 90-minute FP1 session. However, we got through Q1 and in Q2 Ren showed his amazing speed with some aggressive driving in sectors 1 and 2 and although he unfortunately went off the track in sector 3, he showed us hope, and we were able to prove here in SUGO we are going in the right direction. As Team Director I regret the fact the race went in a conservative direction, but once again Ren has taught me we have to be aggressive, and in our next race in Fuji I want to keep pushing hard.”

 

“As a team we got to understand the drivers and what they wanted from their cars in the first half of the season. Now we are trying new things and hoping the second half of the season will bring us a turnaround in the points standings. Even though our drivers are rookies, I’m hoping we can get on the podium and even aim for a win.”

Ryan Dingle, Engineer

“The car I brought here to Sugo had a different set-up and the adjustments were completed well before qualifying. I think we competed quite well in qualifying although Ren lost his rhythm and made a mistake in sector 3 which resulted in an unexpected position. I think Ren made a good start in the race, but two safety car incidents in the first 10 laps meant we had to decide whether to stay out or box (pit).  I chose to box because I thought there was a good chance there would be another safety car incident. Initially Ren was unable to drive at his own pace, but as the new tyres kicked in, and determined to finish in the points, and I think I pushed him too hard which caused him to spin, and for that I am very sorry.  It was the second time this season I’ve made a mistake in choosing the wrong strategy which means I have a lot of work to do in the upcoming races.”

 

“Our next round this season takes us back to Fuji. We will bring a car with a good set-up and try from the start of qualifying to be as far ahead as possible in order to have a good race.”

2022.05.23

Gearbox problems beset Ren Sato in Autopolis

21 May: Weather: Fine  Temperature: 21℃ Track Conditions: Dry, 33℃

Qualifying – P12 (1’25.429)

22 May: Weather: Fine  Temperature: 24℃ Track Conditions: Dry, 44℃

Race – P17

 

TEAM GOH’s Ren Sato, driving car No. 53, began the 42-lap race from the 6th row of the grid, but unfortunately on lap 40 he was forced to climb out of the car due to gearbox problems. However, he was listed in the race classification having completed more than the compulsory 37 laps.

Ren Sato, Driver #53

“I had a good start, but in turn 3 on the opening lap trying to avoid contact with other cars, I ran off the track which dropped me down to 18th position. I was then in a race to catch up from the back of the pack and was running in 12th position when I developed gearbox problems and unfortunately could not take the chequered flag.

 

Having completed 40 laps of the 42-lap race it has enabled us to gather a lot of data which has given us the information we need relating to the car’s sensitivity and how that matches up with my driving style. Now I will work hard with the team to translate that into building the car we need to give me the opportunity of qualifying at the front of the field for our next round in SUGO.”

Masashi Yamamoto, Team Director

“Despite having good race pace, Ren Sato in the #53 car, was unable to complete the 42 laps due to a gearbox issue.

 

I think going off track at Turn 3 on the opening lap, which cost him a lot of positions, will ultimately prove to be the reason for losing today’s race, but we will check everything and analyse the data carefully in preparation for our next race in SUGO.”

Ryan Dingle, Engineer #53

“I believe Ren’s start today was so far the best of our four races. We need to revisit what happened on the opening lap in turns 1 and 3, but it resulted in losing a lot of positions and having to fight from the back of the grid. It was also unfortunate that on the restart after the second safety car Ren had to endure a number of difficult laps behind a slower car and ultimately encountered gearbox problems, the cause of which we will now investigate.

We are all very happy as a team to see Miyake in Car #55 finish on the podium in 3rd place today. It gives us the motivation and momentum we need to prepare for the next round in SUGO so that Ren’s Car #53 can follow in Miyake’s footsteps.”

2022.05.23

Rookie Atsushi Miyake took third place and his first podium finish!

21 May: Weather: Fine  Temperature: 21℃ Track Conditions: Dry, 33℃

Qualifying – P5(1’24.964)

22 May: Weather: Fine  Temperature: 24℃ Track Conditions: Dry, 44℃

Race – P3

Round 4 of the 2022 All-Japan Super Formula Championship took place on Sunday, 22nd May, at Autopolis in Oita prefecture, and saw rookie driver, Atsushi Miyake, in TEAM GOH’s No. 55 car, successfully achieve his first podium finish in 3rd place. It also secured TEAM GOH their first podium finish at the fourth round of the championship.

 

Miyake was to start the race from the third row of the grid in 5th place, his highest qualifying position of the championship, however the race start was somewhat chaotic and he lost two positions, but he kept up a good race pace which he was able to consistently maintain.

 

Several of the cars took their pit stops after completing the mandatory 10 laps, but Miyake was running faster than his rivals so his race strategy was changed and he stayed out longer.

 

After completing 32 laps Miyake was the last of the 21 cars to take his pit stop and change tyres. The pit stop took 8.3 seconds, not exactly fast, but on new tyres he managed to get back out on track in front of Tomoki Nojiri winning the out-lap battle on cold tyres and putting him in a position to finish on the podium in 3rd place.

Together with new tyres and being lighter on fuel, Miyake not only set the fastest time in sector 3 on lap 34 giving him the fastest lap of 1.28.747 on lap 35, but he also set the best time in sector 1 on lap 37 all of which enabled him to finish the 42-lap race in 3rd place.

Atsushi Miyake, Driver #55

“Starting 5th on the third row of the grid I felt gave me a really great chance.

 

Unfortunately I didn’t get the best of starts and lost a couple of places, but after 10 laps I could see my pace was faster than the cars around me, so we changed our strategy and decided to go long before pitting.

 

Although my pace was good, there were many places on track where I was having problems so managing my tyres was difficult, but I was getting really good advice on every lap from Engineer Okajima and Driving Advisor Izawa which enabled me to manage the tyres and I think that’s why I was able to finish third.

 

My thanks go not only to everyone on my team, but to the team as a whole, as we were able to secure this 3rd place podium.

 

Now to make preparations for the next round in SUGO, which, just like Autopolis, is another circuit I have never raced a Super Formula car at before, so I will be sure to create my best opportunities from the beginning of race week in order to avoid a repeat of the round I had in Suzuka! My thanks for your support.”

Masashi Yamamoto, Team Director

“After starting from 5th position Miyake took an impressive 3rd place podium finish. The entire team worked as one and I am delighted we were able to get on the podium.

 

Miyake himself had found a good set-up from Free Practice 2 and Warm-up, and his race pace was really good so it was easy to find a good strategy. I would like to thank the entire team, the drivers and everyone.”

Shintaro Okajima, Engineer, #55

“In the morning during FP2 things were not progressing well and Miyake was not happy with his driving. Then, during a short red flag period, we found something which we analysed in the data and adjusted the set-up for the race.

 

I was a bit worried during warm-up, but after some advice I received from Driving Advisor Izawa I decided to begin the race without any further changes to the set-up and hoped that my driving experience would get me through.

 

The initial race pace was tough, but once the tyre pressure increased the pace really picked up and we were running really well so we decided against the early pit-stop option.

 

Miyake was also battling on track with Nojiri, but after building a solid gap I decided to make the pit stop to get on the podium.

 

By opting for the later pit stop, going out on new tyres and being lighter on fuel we were able not only to set the fastest lap time, but to give TEAM GOH their first podium finish; it was a very good weekend.

 

Now we will prepare well for the next round in SUGO.”

2022.04.26

Due to technical issues, Atsushi Miyake has missed out on point scoring in the last three consecutive races

Atsushi Miyake, driving TEAM GOH’s car no. 55, unfortunately could not finish the race at Round 3 of the 2022 All Japan Super Formula Championship held at Suzuka Circuit on Saturday and Sunday, 23rd/24th April. He had started the race in 21st position, but due to transmission problems had to retire with just six laps remaining, this means Miyake has been unable to score points for the third consecutive race.

Atsushi Miyake, Driver, #55

 

“We struggled with the set-up right from FP1 here in Suzuka and consequently we were unable to put together a good qualifying session which meant we had to start the race from the back of the grid. However, I drove at a steady pace and gradually improved my position, but unfortunately due to technicalities I was unable to finish the race.

 

However, we learned a lot, including the importance of having a good set-up right from FP1, so we will be putting a lot more effort into our preparation before we arrive at our next round in Autopolis.”

Masashi Yamamoto, Team Director

 

“The set-up we had prepared for Miyake’s car No. 55 just didn’t work, either for the car or the driver. Saturday morning’s FP1 was very difficult due to weather conditions which we are not used to in Suzuka at this time of year, air temperature was 20°C whilst the track surface was 26°C.

 

There is no such thing as “what if” in racing, so when we found the prepared set-up didn’t work, we should have made a major change right at the start.

 

However, we started right from the back of the grid and even though Miyake drove consistently, due to the transmission problems he encountered towards the end of the race he had to retire and I felt very sorry for him.

 

We will now investigate the cause of the problem in order to avoid it cropping up again in Autopolis.”

 

Shintaro Okajima, Engineer, #55

 

“Unfortunately on Saturday we made a mistake in changing the qualifying set-up after FP1. After the qualifying session we reviewed this and took a different approach to the No. 53 car by simulating a long wet set-up in preparation for Sunday’s race.

 

In FP2 on Sunday morning we encountered bad understeer in Sector 1, but despite being very close to where we wanted to be in terms of aerodynamics, etc., we were unable to get to the bottom of the problem before the race started.

 

I believe the transmission problem which appeared towards the end of the race could in fact have been a software problem rather than a mechanical one, but we have yet to analyze the data and to extract the information in order to determine the cause.

 

Before the next round we will go into greater depths with the analogy and look at that in conjunction with the positive data we can extract from Car 53.”

2022.04.26

Ren Sato finished in 10th and scored one point at Round 3 SUZUKA

Round 3 of the 2022 All Japan Super Formula Championship got underway at the Suzuka Circuit on Saturday, 23rd/Sunday, 24th April.  Ren Sato had started from 15th on the grid for Sunday’s 31-lap race and by finishing 10th he was able to add a further point to his No. 53 car’s points tally for TEAM GOH.

Ren Sato, Driver, #53

“The car had felt good in our first two races at the Fuji Speedway, but during FP1 here at Suzuka on Saturday I couldn’t get comfortable with the set-up we had on the car. It has taught me just how important it is to get the set-up right, it’s never easy, but it’s very critical.”

 

“We changed the direction of the set-up from FP1 going into qualifying, but in Q1 we just couldn’t get the result we were looking for and consequently didn’t make it through to Q2, this meant we had to start the race from 15th position.”

 

“It was a wet race and I was hoping the rain would slowly reduce; I was very nervous because I could barely see in front of me due to the heavy spray. I drove carefully paying close attention to the tyres, especially those on the front, this meant in the second half of the race I was able to gradually pass cars and move up to 10th place. I think it was a good strategy.”

Masashi Yamamoto, Team Director

“Unfortunately the set-up didn’t suit the conditions you can encounter in Suzuka at this time of year.

I wanted Ren Sato to have a race car he felt comfortable with, so after the eight-minute warm-up Ren, Ryan Dingle and myself had a short debrief and on the grid, we made a last minute adjustment to the aero system.

 

Happily that seemed to work for Ren, and under today’s difficult conditions I think he did a great job earning a point which we can take to the next round. “

Ryan Dingle, Engineer, #53

 

“As our preparations for the race did not suit the weather conditions, we had to make changes to the car on Saturday between FP1 and qualifying.

 

For example, we made changes to the front and rear ride height and looked at ways to get more downforce on the car. However, without any free practice sessions it was difficult going into qualifying and although we were moving in the right direction we missed out on a solid performance in Q1 which lost us the opportunity to move to Q2.

 

During Sunday morning’s free practice, we encountered some problems which reduced our track time, so we made changes to the car based on what we had learned in warm-up which meant we were able to send the driver out shortly before the session ended.

 

Ren is a driver with a lot of potential and he drove the car well in the difficult wet conditions thus allowing us to improve our position and score a point. Now we will analyze all the data in preparation for the next round at Autopolis.”

2022.04.24

Ren Sato and Atsushi Miyake were both knoked out in Q1 session at Round 3

Comments by Ren Sato and Atsushi Miyake after Qualifying session for Round 3, Suzuka.