Post-Season Testing: Japan SFL
Nov 30

Post-Season Testing: Japan SFL

Post-Season Testing: Japan SFL

Super Formula Lights | Okayama Circuit
Okayama, Japan: B-MAX Racing & Honda Private Test
November 27 & 28, 2023

Quick Glance: Japan | The Super Formula and Super Formula Lights Series

The top levels of Japan open-wheel racing series are Super Formula Lights (SFL) and Super Formula (SF). Considered the strongest open wheel series in Asia, the Super Formula is rated highly in the motorsports racing world and has produced drivers that went on further to compete in F2, F1, and IndyCar. The SF Lights series is the entry level and feeder series to Super Formula. Both SFL and SF are driven predominantly by Japanese drivers with years of experience on the six tracks of the series. This raises the challenge to drivers from other areas of the world, as they need to quickly come to terms with new tracks, tires, teams, and cars. On the car side, the Dallara 320 chassis of SF Lights is a ‘driver’s car’, also used in Euroformula Open Series and closely related to the Indy NXT Dallara. Looking at the next level of Super Formula, the Dallara SF car is second only to F1 cars in speed, lighter than F1 cars and with significant downforce. In comparison, an F1 car lap time around the Suzuka Circuit is only four seconds quicker and utilizing a significantly more powerful engine. Notably, both the SFL and SF cars are rated highly by all drivers and beautiful cars to drive.

As a racing series, Super Formula Lights (SFL) is an excellent pre-cursor to Super Formula, familiarizing the driver with the circuits, teams, and tires in a preparatory year to challenging in Super Formula. In addition, the SFL series allows drivers opportunities to demonstrate abilities in front of teams supported by Japanese car manufacturers and race organizations. In this 18-race series, 2024 events will run SF Lights right alongside Super Formula and factory teams at six tracks of three races each. Races in SFL may be viewed live or on-demand on YouTube.

In Kaylen Frederick’s words:
“I’m very excited to participate in the SF Lights test in Okayama with B-MAX Racing Team. It will be a new challenge and there will be a lot to get acclimated to, but the team have helped me settle in well in pre-test preparations. I’m very much looking forward to getting on track and driving the SF Lights Dallara.”

Test Highlights

Day 1
Kaylen approached the opening of the two-day test with enthusiasm to drive a new track and in a favored car. Advised to temper expectations in a test with drivers that knew the track well, Kaylen readied to settle into business. Testing included six drivers alongside Kaylen, including an experienced SFL driver from the 2023 season. Coming to terms quickly with the car and track, after several laps Kaylen secured the fastest time, improving times later and remaining on top of the charts for day 1.

Day 2
The morning session 1 was cancelled due to fog. During session 2, the track remained wet. Conditions gradually improved but did not dry out, with Kaylen securing the best time:
No, 53 Kaylen Frederick: 1:38.947
No. 51 Togo Suganami: 1:39.592
No. 51 Yogo Iwasawa: 1:39.795

In the afternoon, the course continued to dry for a period, however soon after the PM sessions started rain fell again, stopping after a while. Frederick again set the best time under drying conditions:
No, 53 Kaylen Frederick: 1:33.945
No. 99 Togo Suganami: 1:34.583 (In the faster new 2024 test car)
No. 51 Yogo Iwasawa: 1:35.298

In Kaylen Frederick’s words:
“Overall the test was a very encouraging start and introduction to the team, car, tires, and series. We were on top of the charts with best times on both Day 1 and 2. I found the Okayama Circuit a great track to drive. I immensely enjoyed the track. Clearly B-MAX is a strong and impressive team to be with as they just won both the 2023 Driver & Team Championships. I am hugely thankful to B-MAX for the excellent car preparation and helping me to come up to speed quickly. Big shout-out to their excellent engineers.”

Next on the Calendar:

2024: Super Formula Lights or Indy NXT?
Please watch this space for announcements.

About Kaylen Frederick
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