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.”


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.”


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.”


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.”


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.




Atsushi Miyake finished fifth gaining points in two consecutive races

The second round of the opening double-header of the 2022 All Japan Super Formula got underway on Sunday, 10 April, at the Fuji Speedway, with rookie driver, Atsushi Miyake, at the wheel of the No. 55 TEAM GOH car who scored points in his second consecutive race by finishing in fifth place.

Since Car 55 had encountered set-up problems the previous day, it was decided some modifications were necessary and to use Car 53’s set-up which conversely had been quick. It worked perfectly and Miyake progressed through Q1 setting the fastest time. However, that did not translate into Q2 and unfortunately he had to start the race from ninth position.


Miyake got off to a good start in the race and kept up a solid pace throughout taking the chequered flag in fifth place.


Atsushi Miyake, Driver, #55

“I set the fastest time in Q1, but unfortunately when we switched to Q2 I made a mistake and ended up ninth. However, I made a good start in the race and was able to keep up the pace which gave me a fifth placed finish; admittedly it was not a podium, but I had a good race.”


“Our next race is at Suzuka which means a different atmosphere and different track characteristics; it’s not going to be easy, but I will do my best so please give me your support.”


Masashi Yamamoto, Team Director

“Miyake drove a great qualifying session today, he set the fastest time in Q1, but was unable to use his tyres to their full potential in Q2 and finished ninth. He got off to a good start in the race and his pace was good, even overtaking yesterday’s winner, Hirakawa, which created great excitement here in the pits, however, not unexpectedly, Hirakawa took the place back. Our strategy and our pace were both good today and I thought we might even be able to overtake Yamashita for fourth place, but that was asking a bit too much and we ended up in fifth.”


“As rookies Sato and Miyake are not only composed, but are both beginning to show a calm and mature driving style so I’m looking forward to a great year ahead.”


Shintaro Okajima, Engineer #55

“Whilst we sailed through Q1 finishing first today, we just could not put it all together in Q2 and had to settle for ninth position. However, the car’s performance, including the set-up, has improved and I believe we have made good progress since yesterday’s round 1.”


“We fine-tuned yesterday’s set-up in preparation for today’s race and Miyake made a really good start and was quickly able to progress from P9 to P7 putting him immediately behind Hirakawa. He had really good pace and initially we thought about going for an early pitstop, but given our position and lap times, we decided to make a mid-race stop. After leaving the pits Miyake was able to maintain his pace and finished the race in fifth. Both the team and Miyake have made a good step forward and learned a lot this weekend, now we want to take this to Suzuka and aim for a podium, but even a place higher than today’s finish would be welcomed.”


Ren Sato finished thirteenth and missed out on points

Sunday, 10th April, saw the 2nd Round of the 2022 All Japan Super Formula Championship, a double-header hosted at the Fuji Speedway with Ren Sato driving the No. 53 TEAM GOH car, but after a start position of fourth on the grid he was to finish 13th in the 41-lap race.

Sato’s first attempt in Q1 was unsuccessful, but he managed to get through in sixth position on his second attempt; then in Q2 he finished fourth.


A slow start in the race meant he was running in heavy traffic, and this, coupled with a pit strategy that let him down, meant he was unable to move forward and eventually took the chequered flag in 13th place.


Ren Sato, Driver, #53

“Today was a real mixture, I qualified P4 and finished the race P13.  In Qualifying I went off track in my first attempt in Q1, but after some changes I managed to get through on my second attempt.  In Q2 the team made some adjustments to the set-up which worked well and I finished P4.”


“I got off to a slow start in the race so we tried for the undercut, but then lost time in my pitstop, this meant when I rejoined the race I was back in heavy traffic and couldn’t increase my pace so I had to settle and hold my position.  We need to understand where we could have done better, then to analyse the information and resolve the issues in time for the next round in Suzuka.”


“We have tested twice in Suzuka, in December last year and again last month and as a team we feel quite confident about the circuit.  We will do our best, beginning with our Qualifying which will then give us the best kick-start for the race.”


Msashi Yamamoto, Team Director

“Sato didn’t get off to the best start in Q1 today, he went off in his first attempt, but on his second attempt he managed 6th which got him through to Q2.  In Q2 he was P4, I was expecting more, but as a rookie it was an acceptable result.”


“Then unfortunately Sato got off to a bad start in the race, he began over-thinking things and didn’t release the clutch quickly enough, consequently he lost a lot of positions and became buried in the pack.  Our strategy then was to pit him early in order to get him back out in clean air, but the pit stop was too slow and this has become an area the team must work on.  These opening two races in Fuji have taught Sato and his team a lot, now this information has to be digested and fed into the next round in Suzuka.  Please continue to give us your support.”


Ryan Dingle, Engineer #53

“Based on what we learned yesterday we fine-tuned our set-up for qualifying today, but Sato ran off track on his first attempt, and we barely got through Q1 on his second attempt. In Q2 he managed P4.”


“However, our strategy and timing in the race were not good.  We released Sato from his pitstop into very little space on track and I felt sorry for him because we had put him in a situation where he couldn’t progress.  We need to improve not only our team skills in the future, but also our decision making and then how we execute those on-the-spot decisions.”


Atsushi Miyake finished tenth, after an eleventh place start, and gained one point

Rookie driver, Atsushi Miyake, driving the No. 55 TEAM GOH car, finished 10th in his debut race, scoring one point in Round 1 of the 2022 All Japan Super Formula which took place at Fuji Speedway on Saturday, 9 April.

Miyake made it through Q1, but was unable to replicate it in Q2 which placed him 11th on the grid. However, as chaos ensued at the start of the race he dropped further down the order.


The team pitted Miyake to change tyres after 11 laps and whilst the race continued at a steady pace with some overtaking and a few battles, he was only able to move up one position from his grid start to finish in 10th place overall.


Atsushi Miyake, Driver, #55

“I had to fight for position at the start and I lost a few places, but my pace after the tyre change coupled with the team’s strategy was good enough to finish in 10th place. Looking back on the race I was not able to put the sectors together well in Q2 which had a big impact on my position. We will now review the qualifying sessions and the way we drive in the early stages of the race to give the team a chance to work out a strategy which will put us as far ahead as possible in qualifying and make us even more competitive in the race. I will do my best.”


Masashi Yamamoto, Team Director

“Miyake qualified 11th, but had a poor race start, and, through no fault of his own, he did go off track a little, but the early pit stop strategy enabled him to run consistent lap times through the rest of the race and to finish in 10th gaining one point in the process .  It was very significant for the team to score points on our race debut and I am looking forward to the next nine races. Please continue to support us tomorrow.”


Shintaro Okajima, Engineer, #55

“In qualifying whilst we came through Q1, our lap times in Q2 were not good enough. We encountered a problem in the set-up which caused oversteer and made the car difficult to drive; this will be corrected for tomorrow’s qualifying.”

“In the race we started from 11th, but lost some positions as battles were fought out. The pit stop strategy, combined with Miyake’s overtaking on track, meant we were able to recover our position and eventually finish in 10th place scoring our first point in the process and this is a good result leading us into the next round. The balance of the car was good and our race pace was faster than those around us. I also think our long-run race pace will be good tomorrow, but first of all I want to make sure we can show good speed in qualifying which we can then build on in the race.”