Bizarre end to Cassidy's Super Formula season
Nick Cassidy's Super Formula season finished in extraordinary circumstances in Japan today, with both races at the final round being cancelled because of a typhoon.
Cars did not even take to the track at Suzuka Circuit as it was considered to be too dangerous with the track being pounded by a torrential deluge and high winds.
The meeting had started promisingly for Cassidy, the former double Toyota Racing Series champion, when he was sixth fastest in Friday’s practice session.
The Aucklander had again headed off the three former Formula One drivers in the field, Kazuki Nakajima, Andre Lotterer and Kamui Kobayashi and Pierre Gasly who gave up the chance to race at the United States Formula One Grand Prix this weekend in an effort to win the Super Formula title.
Cassidy had bested them when he won pole position for the previous round at Sugo.
Saturday morning’s practice was held in damp to wet conditions, a portent of things to come.
Qualifying later in the day became a lottery, continually interrupted by red flags as drivers slid off the circuit in the now very wet conditions. With cars stopped in dangerous positions, qualifying was stopped three times.
Cassidy never got a chance to string enough laps together to warm up his tyres properly in the cool conditions and set a competitive time. He was only 16th fastest.
Today the conditions had worsened and all racing was cancelled before any car had even ventured onto the track in the morning warm-up.
Cassidy can still finish his Japanese season on a high in three weeks’ time, when the final round of the Super GT series – Japan’s equivalent to V8 Supercars - is held at Motegi. With co-driver Ryo Hirakawa they go into the meeting with a six points lead in the championship in their Lexus LC 500.