Tata Sons and Tata Motors have just announced their support for Indian pacesetter Narain Karthikeyan in his venture into the Japanese Super Formula racing series. Having gotten himself a seat with the team that finished third in the championship last year – Impul Hoshino Racing, Narain and his 2010 Super Formula Championship teammate, Joao Paulo de Oliveira, will go up against some pretty stern competition in the form of some 24 hour Le Mans and WEC World Champions and former F1 pilots like Vitantonio Liuzzi, Takuma Sato and Kazuki Nakajima to name a few.
The Super Formula Series comprises a total of 8 rounds, seven in Japan and one in South Korea. The Japanese championship commences on April 13 and concludes on November 9 later this year.
The cars partaking in the Super Formula series (which was previously known as the Formula Nippon championship) this year, are built on the new Dallara SF14 chassis. At the heart of these racing machines lie 550bhp-producing, direct injection, turbocharged 2-litre, 4-cylinder motors – provided by Honda and Toyota – that are mated to a Ricardo six-speed paddle shift ’box. Each Super Formula Series car is not allowed to exceed 650kgs (inclusive of the driver).
When asked about his expectations in the series this year, Narain says, “I’m optimistic. I think I stand a good chance of getting on the podium more than once in this year’s Super Formula series. I was fourth fastest after two practice sessions in Japan earlier this month. And the best part about this spec-series is that everyone has an equal opportunity to win. It’s all based on the car setup. In fact, I went faster around the Suzuka circuit this year in the Super Formula car than I did back in 2012, in the HRT.”