Nick Cassidy, who won the 2019 Super Formula championship, is a notable absentee from Toyota’s driver line-up for the 2020 campaign, although the New Zealander could still return to defend his crown.
Cassidy raced with the Vantelin Team TOM’S squad last year, winning the opening race and only failing to score once across the seven rounds as his consistency ensured he beat Naoki Yamamoto to the title by three points.
The twenty-five-year-old has won all three of Japan’s major championships having added the Super Formula title to his previous successes in Japanese Formula 3 and Super GT, and although he will continue to race in Super GT in 2020, he is currently uncertain to be defending his title.
Kazuki Nakajima does remain with TOM’s in 2020, and Cassidy remains a candidate for the second seat, as does 2019 Japanese Formula 3 runner-up Ritomo Miyata.
Team LeMans have departed both Super GT and Super Formula, and Toyota have reassigned their driver line-up to suit their departure, with JMS P.mu/cerumo – Inging and KCMG both adding cars.
Inging will now race with three drivers, with Kazuya Oshima joining Hiroaki Ishiura and Sho Tsoboi, while KCMG will now race with two entries, with Yuji Kunimoto leaving Kondo Racing to race alongside Kamui Kobayashi.
In Kunimoto’s place at Kondo is 2019 Japanese Formula 3 champion Sacha Fenestraz, who is the only new face currently confirmed in Toyota’s 2020 plans. Fenestraz will partner Kenta Yamashita at Kondo, while Toyota’s final team – Itochu Enex Team Inpul – running an unchanged driver line-up of Yuhi Sekiguchi and Ryo Hirakawa.
The season begins on 5 April at the Suzuka International Racing Course, and there remain two vacancies on the grid – the second TOM’s seat for Toyota and Real Racing’s sole entry for Honda.