Nick Cassidy has experienced the highs and lows of motorsport finishing third and eleventh in his Team KONDO Toyota in two SUPER FORMULA races at Okayama in Japan over the weekend.
“I’m over the moon with Saturday - finishing on the podium in only my second race in Super Formula,” said Cassidy.
“Yesterday was frustrating with qualifying and then doing the whole race with a damaged front wing.”
Third place has put the Aucklander eighth on the points table and the first rookie in the series, which uses identical chassis for all drivers powered by over 400 kWs turbocharged two litre engines.
Cassidy had qualified third for Saturday’s 31 lap race and challenged for second at the first corner before fending off former Formula One driver Kamui Kobayashi for the entire race.
In Sunday’s qualifying, Cassidy spun off before setting a competitive time and was left to start 17th.
He was affected by cars spinning in front of him in the first corner which damaged the car’s front wing. With a compulsory pit stop to change tyres Cassidy’s KONDO team elected to keep him on the track until the middle of the 51-lap race. By the time he stopped he was up to 7th place and then re-joined in 13th.
There was a safety car 10 laps from the finish and Cassidy made up one place on the restart to finish 11th.
“It was a good race considering the damage from the first corner incident,” said Cassidy.
His next race in SUPER FORMULA is at the Fuji track on 9 July.
SUPER FORMULA, Round two, Okayama
Race 1, 30 laps: 1, A Lotterer (TOM’S Toyota) Germany; 2, Y Sekiguchi (IMPUL Toyota) Japan; 3, N Cassidy (KONDO TOYOTA) NZ.
Race 2, 51 laps: 1, Sekiguchi; 2, H Ishiura (INGING TOYOTA) Japan; 3, Lotterer.
Championship Points: 1, Lotterer, 12; 2, K Nakajima (TOM’S Toyota) Japan, 11; 3= N Yamamoto (Mugen Honda) Japan and Ishiura, 10.5; 8, Cassidy, 3.