SUPER FORMULA Rd.5 Autopolis

Not finding the best pace, Andrea Caldarelli finishes in P15


15sf5-CAL8Over the weekend of September 12 – 13, Round 5 of the 2015 All Japan Championship SUPER FORMULA Series unfolded on Kyushu island of Japan, Autopolis (in Oita Prefecture – Track length 4,674m) h.


15sf5-CAL7For Andrea Caldarelli of LENOVO TEAM IMPUL, it was back in 2011 when he last raced at this circuit in this top formula race series, and this time also the first time driving here on Dallara’s SF14.





September 12 (SAT) Official Qualifying


15sf5-CAL6Autopolis, located on Mt. Somma in the Aso mountain ranges, was under clouds from Saturday morning, but eventually the sky above cleared and by Free Practice session in the morning (10:00 – 11:15), Dry condition was declared over the track (Air temp. 21 deg. C). All 19 Super Formula machines went off to the field for a run. LENOVO TEAM IMPUL SF14 (No. 20) with Andrea Caldarelli chalked up 24 laps as checking and firming up the setting and finished this session in P5 (1’28.591) – not a bad position to start out with on another racing weekend! Time was 14:40 (Air temp. 22 deg. C / Track temp. 31 deg. C), Andrea appeared in Q1, the first heat of qualifying attempts by 19 machines for the duration of 20 minutes. Good condition seen earlier in the day aroused some expectations for high results with LENOVO TEAM IMPUL SF14 and Andrea Caldarelli, however in Q1 not reaching a decent pace, positioned 14th (1’28.502), just barely making it to the next heat. In Q2 (15:10 – 15:17) now competed among 14 machines, the best that No. 20 could reach was 12th (with 1’28.056) and therefore no further advance to the Q3 could be made.


15sf5-CAL5Andrea Caldarelli

“All this morning, our condition was okay but in the qualifying there was lack of traction. Or was it the track that changed or the setting not matching … ? Well, based on these rather regrettable results, I’ll discuss with my engineer and see what measures can be taken. To start the race tomorrow from this position may be tough, but anyway all I will do is just give it my best push.”






September 13 (SUN) RACE


15sf5-CAL1Free Practice on Sunday morning (9:30 – 10:00) began under fair blue skies, with the temperature at 19 deg. C and Autumn morning breeze feeling very pleasant, again Dry condition was announced for the track. LENOVO TEAM IMPUL No. 20 under the belt of Andrea Caldarelli marked the top time 1’29.425 from this session as running on light fuel. Afterwards, in the last half of the session, machine check was done with a full tank as eyeing the Race. Commented Andrea, “Machine has improved since yesterday, but we still have a few things to clear for the race.”





15sf5-CAL3At 15:00, in fantastic weather and 21 deg. C, the 250km (54 laps) of race was set to begin. From P12 on the sixth row, LENOVO TEAM IMPUL with Andrea Caldarelli rev’ed up and kicked off, soon raising one position up in the opening lap, and as coming back through the home straight in P11, climbed another place up to P10 by the 6th lap. The 25-year old Italiano then went in for a pit stop just coming off the 16th lap! The crew changed all 4 tyres, refueled the machine and sent their driver back out to the field in P16.

15sf5-CAL4 On forward Andrea went with persistent driving as re-writing his best times, but meanwhile there were other machines that chose changing no tyres at all or just two of the tyres, and effectively contracted their pit-stop times. Now behind such competitors who took such strategies, with situations not getting much better, LENOVO TEAM IMPUL No. 20 finished the race in position no higher than P15.






Andrea Caldarelli

“Good machine balance was there in the morning Free session, but then it felt as though a different machine in the Race… After that I could never find the best pace. My start was not so bad, but going on the In-side, jump-up also got blocked, and afterwards our pit-in timing and tyre change strategies did not work so well either. All in all it turned into a difficult race for me. Season long, it hasn’t been easy trying to achieve better results and standings, but anyway in the remaining two rounds, I hope to pick up a better flow. To let us do so, I count on everyone’s continued support! Thank you!”




Round 6 of 2015 SUPER FORMULA series will be staged at Sportsland SUGO (Miyagi Prefecture) on October 17th and the 18th.