Young drivers to follow a program endorsed by MIM driver and Indycar champ Alex Palou
In an effort to boost the racing careers of David Vidales and newly acquired Lirim Zendeli, Monaco Increase Management has launched a new initiative called ‘Project Japan’ which will see the 20-years old Spaniard and 23-years-old German-Albanian try their hands at the wheel of a Super Formula Light car with team B-Max in Okayama, Japan, on November 21-22, as a first step to further commitments in the Far East.
The path was traced years ago by MIM driver Alex Palou as he left Europe for Japan and quickly became a star in the prestigious Super Formula series, whose Dallara-built chassis compare with Formula One in terms of aero efficiency and overall performance. SFL (Super Formula Light) is a propaedeutic series to the major league and a necessary step to go in the Japanese single-seater environment.
MIM’s mission has always been to promote our drivers’ career in a proactive, creative way. The current scenario of European formula racing does not provide all the opportunities a talented driver would deserve on his way to Formula One and Palou’s case clearly shows the advantages of trying a different approach. In just three years, with continuous backing from Monaco Increase Management, Alex established himself as Best Super Formula Rookie and built up a reputation that opened him the gates of Indycar (where he was crowned series champion in just his second season of racing) and, ultimately, granted him a test and reserve driver role with McLaren F1, allowing him to show his potential during the USGP Friday practice session.
Alex’s comments on Project Japan: “I sincerely believe that my experience in Japan was one of the best stages of my learning curve as a driver. I had the opportunity of spending two years there competing in F.3, Super Formula, Super GT, and I learned a lot. I think motorsport in Japan is at a high level in every series, and when it comes to racing tracks, I am sure many other drivers share my view that Japan has the best circuits, like Suzuka, my all-time favorite. Another advantage lies in having three big manufacturers competing in single-seater series: Toyota, Nissan and Honda. This gave me the chance to get where I am now, in terms of both learning and finding the best opportunities, with the support from MIM. I wish David and Lirim all the success they deserve, hoping they may be as lucky as I have been!”
David Vidales, the only driver to win two races in his single-seater debut with Eurocup by Renault in 2020, has competed in F3 with Campos Racing in 2022, scoring a win in Barcelona. Lirim Zendeli won the ADAC Formula 4 series in 2018 and this year he has competed in both F3 and F2 with CHRS and Campos Racing.
MIM’s CEO founder/CEO Salvatore Gandolfo and Senior Consultant Daniele Audetto travel to Okayama to follow David’s and Lirim’s test.