Andrea Caldarelli with an unlucky P10 start to getting points with a 6th place finish!


15SF2-CAL1Japanese Championship SUPER FORMULA Series Round 2 of the season unfolded at Okayama International Circuit this weekend. It has been seven years since the national-top formula race was last held at this circuit. Meanwhile, for GRM driver Andrea Caldarelli, although this is the track where he has come to victory for two consecutive years in the SUPER GT, this was actually his very first time racing here in the SUPER FORMULA series.






May 23 (SAT)  Official Qualifying


15SF2-CAL10Saturday at Okayama International Circuit turned out to be a rather cool and cloudy day, but in the morning, Free Practice (9:30-10:30), was held in the Dry condition. Andrea Caldarelli on No. 20 LENOVO TEAM IMPUL ran at steady pace to raise his time, but finding issues of such as vibration with tyres that were tried on in the last half of the session, positioned 15th with the best time being 1’15.270. Team quickly worked to resolve such issues within the hours preceding the Qualifying session to be held in the afternoon.


With all 19 machines gathered up together, the first heat of Qualifying (Q1, 13:40-14:00, Air temp. 22 deg. C/Track temp.: 30 deg. C) began where Andrea Caldarelli on LENOVO TEAM IMPUL SF14 marked a P8 time (1’13.614) and advanced to the Q2 battled by the top 14 machines.


15SF2-CAL7However, in the Q2 (10 minutes from 14:10) a misfortune struck Andrea as the session had to be red-flagged right at the time point of 5 min. and 35 sec. in order to clear away one machine that stalled. This wiped away all the sector time Andrea had marked and improved up to then, and as the Q2 session was resumed at 14:24, but in only 2 minutes and 30 seconds that was allowed, the best Andrea could time was 1’13.680, and positioning 10th no further advance could be made to Q3 of the top 8 machines.





15SF2-CAL6Andrea Caldarelli

“Compared to the previous, season’s first round held at Suzuka, machine was greatly improved, much easier to manage. Also in the Q2 today, machine balance was not bad at all, and if it wasn’t for the red flag which was rather unlucky, I could have advanced to Q3. On this track where it’s not easy to overtake, let’s see how much I can catch up going from 10th. In any case, I will give my best shot in tomorrow’s race!”




May 24 (SUN)  Race


15SF2-CAL4In the Free Practice (9:10-9:40) held earlier in the day on Sunday, all the teams and drivers went working into machine settings tailored to the race. Andrea Caldarelli on LENOVO TEAM IMPUL No. 20 delivered 19 practice laps and finished this session in P5 with the best time of 1’16.096 marked. Machine balance was definitely showing improvement, which aroused high expectations for this talented Italian driver’s performance in the coming Race.


By 15:00 – time to begin the race, sun shined strongly upon Okayama International Circuit and the 68 laps (approx. 250km) of SUPER FORMULA Round 2 got underway, – also strong!


15SF2-CAL2According to the Standing Start method and going from the 5th row, Andrea Caldarelli on No. 20 LENOVO TEAM IMPUL could not pick up a good speed from the start like he wanted to, and drew back running in P14 by the end of the opening lap. Hanging on however, No. 20 continued to push and strive, and on the 15th lap went in for a rather early pit-stop. Only refueling was done, and surprisingly! with no tyre change at all, Andrea returned to the course.


15SF2-CAL5After that, overtaking one car, and also benefiting from the time saved by such pit-stop strategy, No. 20’s position kept rising while the rivals all took their routine pit-stops. Pushing onward forth with a constant and aggressive stride, by the 41st lap when all machines had finished their pit-stops, Andrea was up in P6.

 No particular stir-ups in the battle or in everybody’s positions took place in the race thereafter, and Andrea Caldarelli on No. 20 LENOVO TEAM IMPUL SF14 got the chequer in 6th place, scored his first points (3 points) of the season. With this result, Andrea’s series point standing was also raised to 10th.


15SF2-CAL9Andrea Caldarelli

“I made a bad start. That big wheel spin cost my start, and this is my one regret. And though our pit-stop strategy worked out well, throughout the race there was strong vibration, so I struggled with the driving the whole time. Without those issues, I could have had slightly better results. But machine feeling is definitely improving, so let us see even better outcomes in the next round, Fuji. Please let me have your continuous support, thank you!”






Round 3 of the Japanese SUPER FORMULA Series will be staged at Fuji Speedway over the weekend of July 18 – 19th.