Both Pourchaire and Barnicoat have been named on the entry list for the post-season test at Suzuka that will run from December 6-8 and feature one day of running dedicated exclusively to rookies.

Sauber junior Pourchaire, who is widely expected to move to Super Formula next year after winning this year’s F2 title with ART, will drive for Toyota squad Impul on the opening two days of the test.

He will share the #19 SF23 with Danish driver Oliver Rasmussen, who was recently named as the first driver for Jota’s expansion to a second customer Porsche 963 in the World Endurance Championship.

Impul, which won the teams’ title in 2021, could have as many as two slots available next year, with Ryo Hirakawa leaving Super Formula to focus on his WEC and Formula 1 commitments with Toyota and McLaren respectively, and Yuhi Sekiguchi expected to leave the team after a miserable 2023 season.

Sekiguchi will be testing at Suzuka for SF minnow KCMG, with his place in the team to be taken over by 2016 champion Yuji Kunimoto in a direct swap between the two drivers.

Elsewhere, Lexus driver Barnicoat will follow his maiden run in an LMH car in last month’s Bahrain rookie test with a first appearance in single-seaters since his cameo in Euroformila Open in 2020.

Barnicoat will get to drive for TOM’S, one of Toyota’s top teams in Japan, on the final day of Suzuka testing on December 8.

Photo by: Eric Le Galliot

#83 AF Corse Oreca 07 - Gibson of Ben Barnicoat

Also driving for TOM’S will be current driver Ukyo Sasahara, Super Formula Lights runner David Vidales and two-time SUPER GT champion Sho Tsuboi, who is widely expected to replace reigning champion Ritomo Miyata next year.

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One curious absentee from the entry list is former Formula 1 driver and current Lamborghini LMDh driver Daniil Kvyat, who was strongly linked with a test outing with Nakajima Racing.

The Honda-powered squad will instead test Igor Fraga and Riki Okusa, apart from 2023 drivers Hiroki Otsu (replacement for injured Naoki Yamamoto) and Ren Sato.

As expected, Nirei Fukuzumi and Toshiki Oyu will test for Toyota teams ahead of their expected departures from Honda. 

Fukuzumi, runner up in the 2021 season, will be at the wheel of a KCMG-run SF23 alongside Sekiguchi, with Kamui Kobayashi in the team’s other car, while Oyu will be driving for Inging on the opening two days of the Suzuka test.

As previously announced, Euroformula Open race winner Juju Noda will be one of the three drivers to test for TGM alongside Nobuharu Matsushita and Rasmus Lindh.

Meanwhile, Red Bull / Honda junior Ayumu Iwasa will drive for Mugen, having already been announced as Liam Lawson’s replacement for the 2024 season. Iwasa got to sample the car at the Honda Thanks Day event at Motegi last weekend ahead of his first proper run later this week.

2023-12-04T09:30:31Z dg43tfdfdgfd