Super Formula makes OTS tweak to encourage passing

Super Formula has revealed a minor change to its Overtake System (OTS) for this weekend’s Okayama race in a bid to encourage more passing.

The basic operation of the system, which works in a similar way to IndyCar’s push-to-pass system, will remain the same as it did for the Motegi season-opener, but the display lights will now behave differently to make it harder to use the boost to defend.

Drivers will still be able to use 100 seconds of boost, with a minimum usage of one second, over the course of the 51-lap race at Okayama, albeit with a ‘cool-off period’ of 100 seconds after every usage during which the OTS will not be available.

A system of LED lights are used to to show how much boost a driver has left, with the normally-green light on the roll-hoop turning red when there are less than 20 seconds remaining, and turning off entirely when the OTS is completely exhausted.

When the OTS is in operation, the lights flash, and there is also an additional flashing light at the rear telling the driver behind in a battle if his or her opponent is using the button. will broadcast this weekend’s Okayama Super Formula race live. Available worldwide, except Japan. More details can be found here.

Now series organiser JRP has decided that for the Okayama race, there will be a time delay of eight seconds between the system being activated and the lights flashing.

It means that a driver activating the OTS coming out of the last corner will be approximately halfway down the start/finish straight before the car’s lights start flashing – making it much harder for the defending driver to use boost to defend.

It’s not clear whether this rule will remain in place beyond Okayama, which boasts a technical track layout renowned for a lack of passing opportunities.

The change comes at the same time as the return of the mandatory pitstop (albeit just for tyre changes and not refuelling), designed to help promote strategy after a Motegi race that came in for criticism for its lack of on-track passing.

Drivers have now been granted four new sets of soft-compound Yokohama tyres for the weekend, instead of three sets – on top of the three sets carried over from Motegi.

Kamui Kobayashi, KCMG

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

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