Jul 16, 2023

Monaco Increase Management driver David Vidales was active at Fuji International Speedway last week in the frame of his commitment with B-max Racing for the 2023 Super Formula Lights. His points tally at the end of the three scheduled races was far from satisfactory, having collected two tenth places in Round 11 and 12 and one DNF in the first weekend event on Saturday. Yet, Vidales and his team are convinced that a cause may have been found to the ongoing set-up issues that have plagued the 21-years-old’s #51 racing car so far.

Both Vidales and his team spent the first part of the season trying to get on top of the problems which often seemed very elusive, as David often topped the time sheets on private sessions and then struggled to get the car right on the same track only days after. Changing weather conditions and a relative lack of experience with regards to Japanese racing scene may have played a role, but that provided no sound explanation. In particular, the car seemed often behave impredictably and often over-react to minor setup changes.

Finally, the team was convinced to have a driver from outside come and test the car. GT500 driver and former Japanese Formula Three champ Daiki Sasaki came over and took the wheel. In less than one lap, he reported that the car did suffer from serious handling issues same as previously described by Vidales himself. B-max then started another accurate search for a possible source of the problems, while re-building the car around a spare chassis that had been sent to Fuji from back at the factory. Obviously, the job had to be made hastily and did not guarantee a sudden improvement but actually, David took a fifth place finish in Round 11 (the second race of the weekend) starting from eight of the grid. His 10th final place was the result of a 30-seconds penalty that was handed post-race to him for allegedly impeding Yuga Furutani on the main straight.

Vidales currently runs tenth in the series but there are two more events (for a total of six races) at Okayama and Motegi and both driver and team now at least have a baseline to start working on and try to dial out the problems encountered so far. David still has a high reputation in Japan as a racing driver and he can’t wait to be put in a position where he can show it is well deserved.