Huge crash ends Super Formula race after three laps at Suzuka

Super Formula

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Two drivers escaped injury in a huge crash which brought the penultimate race in Japan’s Super Formula championship to an early end at Suzuka.

Nakajima Racing’s Hiroki Otsu and TOM’S driver Ukyo Sasahara tangled in the high-speed 130R corner on the fifth lap of the race while fighting over 17th place. The pair crashed heavily into the barriers on the outside of the turn.

The championship promoters confirmed both drivers were rescued safely from the huge crash. The force of the impact tore the engine and rear suspension from Sasahara’s chassis.

The impact did extensive damage to the barrier and debris fence. Some parts flew beyond the fence onto another stretch of track between the Dunlop curve and Degner one.

The race was abandoned after the enormous crash
As the repair and clean-up job was expected to take several hours, the race promoters took the decision to abandon the eighth round of the championship. As only three laps were officially completed, the competitors were awarded half points.

Tomoki Nojiri, who started the race from pole position and was leading at the end of lap three, moved up to second in the championship. He is six-and-a-half points behind Ritomo Miyata, who was less than a second behind Nojiri at the point the result was declared.

Liam Lawson, who returned to the series following his five-race stint in Formula 1, fell to third in the championship after qualifying seventh and rising one place before the race was abandoned. He therefore goes into tomorrow’s championship-deciding finale with an outside chance of taking the title, lying 15 points behind Nojiri with 23 available.

The early conclusion to the race also confirmed Lawson and Nojiri’s Mugen team as this year’s teams’ champions.

Video: 2023 Super Formula round eight: Suzuka

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “Huge crash ends Super Formula race after three laps at Suzuka”

  1. Unfortunate for Lawson’s chance, but the most important thing is that both are okay.
    Furthermore, I think this article might be the first solely-SF post on Racefans, with all other mentions coming on round-ups.

    1. I sense Super Formula’s PR team have been doing outreach of late. iRacing, prior to this race, were offering free trials of Super Formula’s streaming service for those that had purchased the 2023 car

  2. That video of Race Highlight (singular not plural is probably right for this race!) demonstrates why replays of the start are so annoying…

    1. F1TV uses picture in picture during start replays which is awesome.

      1. Loving it so much! And with onboards and data on side screens it just perfect. Always runs like a charm too, long gone the streaming problems of the early days.

    2. I always feel like the broadcasters feel forced to do it as soon as possible. I hated it when they showed start replays DURING the slicks vs intermediates chaos of the Dutch GP. We missed half of what was going on during the bloody replays.

    3. @bullfrog I like seeing the start replays as you can never spot everything initially so i like having the replays to be able to see how some guys made or lost some spots.

      I always look at the timing tower about half way round the first lap and make a mental note of who i want to watch when we get the replays.

      @f1mre I’m not a big fan of that as it always makes it a bit harder to pick out detail with the smaller windows. Always hated it when Sky would do split screens for the same reason.

      Thats why i wish F1TV had the option of having the F1 Live commentary on the international video feed so you can have the vastly superior F1TV commentary option with the uninterrupted world feed.

      1. I guess a Grand Prix does settle down pretty quickly, and the standard’s a bit higher (what is Kamui Kobayashi doing still racing in SF?!) so there’s likely to be a window of a minute or so that’s free of pile-ups.

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