Team KCMG is ready to take on the 2021 Super Formula season, which gets underway at the Fuji Speedway this weekend, with Yuji Kunimoto and Kazuto Kotaka.
Following two pre-season tests last month, Yuji Kunimoto and Kazuto Kotaka look to build on their momentum at the first event of the year. 2016 Super Formula champion Kunimoto is entering his second season with the team, while Kotaka will make his series debut in place of Kamui Kobayashi. After returning to Japan from his IMSA outing at Sebring, Kamui will complete the 14-day quarantine period, observing Japan Race Promotion’s COVID-19 safety guidelines, meaning he will miss the first event.
30-year-old Kunimoto had a positive first season with KCMG in 2020, steadily improving as the year went on and taking an excellent podium finish at Suzuka. He aims to continue his progress with the team in 2021, starting this weekend at Fuji where he has twice finished on the podium in the series.
Toyota junior Kotaka impressed in Super Formula Lights last season, finishing third in the standings with 11 podiums. He also has a good record at Fuji, taking a win and two podiums in 2020. After filling in for Kobayashi for the two pre-season tests, Kotaka will remain in the car for his maiden appearance in Japan’s premier single-seater series.
Super Formula’s weekend schedule is set to revert to the more traditional timings, with qualifying returning to Saturday. The shorter race distances brought in for the 2020 season will stay, with no refuelling and at least one mandatory tyre change.
Drivers will also be able to use double the amount of Overtake System (OTS) in 2021 after a successful trial at Suzuka at the end of last season. 200 seconds of OTS will now be available per race, rather than the 100 seconds used previously.
The first race of the Super Formula season takes place on 3-4 April.
#18 YUJI KUNIMOTO
“I am very pleased to be competing in Super Formula with KCMG again this year. In the off-season we did a lot of work in testing and I feel well prepared. I believe we are capable of challenging for the title this year so I want to make a good start this weekend to set me up for the battle ahead.”
#7 KAZUTO KOTAKA
“I’m excited to be making my Super Formula debut this weekend, filling in for Kamui. Stepping up from Super Formula Lights is a big change of pace but I enjoyed the tests last month and I felt comfortable in the car. I’m really looking forward to starting my first race for the team, working hard and hopefully getting a good result.”
RYUJI DOI, KCMG HEAD OF MOTORSPORT
“The team had productive tests in Suzuka and Fuji, we were able to try out various set-ups and collect valuable data to prepare for the upcoming season. We will miss Kamui for the first race, but with Yuji and Kazuto the team is looking forward to a strong start and hopefully scoring a good haul of points.”