The next generation Super Formula SF19 car has been shaken down for the first time ahead of its introduction in 2019.
Production of a pair of SF19 cars was completed by Dallara this week and the cars were subsequently transported to Autodromo Riccardo Paletti near Varano in Northern Italy.
Honda Super Formula driver Tomoki Nojiri was present to give the new car its first running in the form of a systems verification test, completing 71 laps over a span of four hours.
Nojiri’s fastest time was around the 57s mark and the organisers claim that it was a full two seconds quicker than the circuit’s previous lap record, set in an LMP1 car. Although Super Formula organisers did not go into details, DragonSpeed did test its new BR1 machine at Varano in March.
Following the test, both cars will be shipped to Japan for an official two-day shakedown at Fuji on July 4-5, a few days before the former Formula 1 venue hosts its annual Super Formula round.
Faster new generation car
The new Super Formula car is claimed to be both faster and safer than its predecessor SF14, which has been in use since 2014.
The SF19 features a “completely new design” including a shorter wheelbase, and efforts have been made to keep the weight as low as possible. The previous-spec SF14 has a minimum weight of 660kg including the driver, compared to 734kg for a 2018, halo-fitted F1 car.
As part of the design overhaul, several changes have been made on the aerodynamic front; the rear wing is positioned lower and in a swept back position while winglets have been added on both sidepods.
The new Super Formula car will not carry a halo device, as confirmed last year, with Dallara having taken other measures to make the car safer for the drivers.
The series will continue to use the IndyCar-style push-to-pass button, but organisers are confident of more overtaking as the new car gives increased focus on underfloor for generating downforce.