Andrea Caldarelli strives patiently to 11th place finish in the season’s first round


15sf1-CAL2Premier formula car race series in Japan, the “2015 Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Series Round 1” of the seven rounds this season, opened at Suzuka Circuit this weekend. This season’s opener took place as one key race of this popular event, “SUZUKA 2 & 4 Race”, which offers a good mix and variety of categories in both 2-wheel (Superbike JSB1000) and 4-wheel (SF, F3), all inside one weekend. Many fans showed up again this year and were fully entertained with the fun and spectacles of motor-sporting. (Audience figures: April 18 (SAT) 23,000 / April 19 (SUN) 28,000)


Andrea Caldarelli driving with LENOVO TEAM IMPUL, one of the most prestigious teams in Japan run by Mr. Kazuyoshi Hoshino, is back driving in the SUPER FORMULA series with a full-season entry since 2011. With a new set of challenges waiting ahead of him, Andrea arrived at the circuit this weekend with high aspirations.



April 18 (SAT)  Official Qualifying


15sf1-CAL5Saturday was blessed with fair weather from the morning and first, the Free Practice (9:05 – 10:05) began. Every team and every driver concentrated on checking into the machine and the setting, apt to fight the Qualifying session to come in the afternoon. And so did Andrea, the very talented Italian driver on sharp black machine LENOVO TEAM IMPUL SF-15 (No. 20) worked hard with the engineers to setup the car within the limited, one-hour session time. In spite of hard efforts however, 14th position time (1’40.020) was the best marked from all of Saturday morning.




In the Official Qualifying held in the afternoon and which is composed of Q1 to Q3, the three chances of attempts, In Q1 (13:50 – 14:10 Air temp. 19 deg. Celsius / Track temp. 31 deg. C), Andrea Caldarelli pushed his best but resulting with P16 (1’40.158), could not advance to the Q2 competed among 14 cars.


Andrea Caldarelli:

“This can’t be true. Car balance is not as bad, but there is not enough grip. We will look into the issues and work on resolving them in time for tomorrow’s race.”



April 19th (SUN)  Race


15sf1-CAL9With light showers still coming down, Free Practice (9:05 – 9:35) in the morning began, first in the Wet but the track gradually dried off. 19 machines went forth making their last tune-ups and adjustments eyeing the race, also rehearsing for swift pit-stop actions. Andrea Caldarelli on No. 20, LENOVO TEAM IMPUL finished this session in P4 (1’55.603),



15sf1-CAL7The rain had stopped completely by 15:00 (Air temp.: 18 deg. C / 25 deg. C), and the very first SUPER FORMULA Rd. 1 race of the season finally kicked off. As soon as the red signal blacked out, all 18 machines (one of the cars was DNS) stormed out to the 43 laps of fierce battling! Andrea starting from the 8th row on grid skillfully passed two cars, positioning up to P14 on the opening lap and further kept that position for 10 laps. With a rather early pit-stop, LENOVO TEAM IMPUL driven by the Pescara-born SF driver took the surprising strategy of just re-fueling with no change of tyres. Returning to the field, Andrea on No. 20 continued on driving patiently in P16. Later, by the time all other competitors had finished pitting in Andrea was up running in P13 and went onwards just chalking up the laps, in spite of the constant struggle against his pace all throughout the remaining laps of the race. On the final lap, two machines running ahead had to retire due to troubles, and with his notch moving up Andrea Caldarelli got the chequer in 11th.


15sf1-CAL8Andrea Caldarelli:

“It turned into a very tough weekend. We were unable to make use of the data from the test, could not find the kind of pace we had hoped for, and therefore we ended up with rather disappointing results. Improvement was made slightly before the race, but still not up to the general grip that we wanted for the package. Thus we ended up with no points earned …

With the team let’s all go back to zero, and take a more detailed review into the issues and definitely fix them. We don’t want another outcome like this in the next round.”




The next round of Japanese SUPER FORMULA Series Rd. 2 will be held at Okayama International Circuit over May 23rd – 24th.