Oyu and Kotaka both took the opportunity to visit Indy as guests of fellow Super Formula racer Kamui Kobayashi, who was in action at the wheel of a Toyota NASCAR Cup car for 23XI Racing on the Indianapolis road course.
With IndyCar taking place on the same weekend, it was an opportunity for both youngsters to experience the paddocks of the two biggest racing series in the United States.
Honda driver Oyu has never made any secret of his desire to race overseas in the future, and said he took the chance to introduce himself to teams in pursuit of that goal at Indy.
“I have aspirations to compete internationally in the future, so my initial step was to establish connections with individuals abroad,” Oyu expressed to Motorsport.com’s Japanese edition prior to the seventh round of the Super Formula season at Motegi this weekend.
“I’m not focused on the upcoming season, but I’ve had many positive discussions regarding what lies ahead. A part of me longs to start racing there right away, so I wanted to seize this opportunity to go.”
Oyu mentioned being amazed by the firsthand experience of witnessing IndyCar and NASCAR, comparing it to Japan’s renowned Super Formula and SUPER GT series.
“He stated that everything has changed. The magnitude of investment and the level of entertainment are distinct. Car racing does not hold a significant value in Japan, unlike in America where it has developed its own culture separate from regular car culture. It can be compared to the popularity of baseball in Japan.”
“I was also taken aback by the extensive amount of dedication put into refining the car. In Japan, we do our best, but the financial aspect is on a completely different scale. The approach they take is also distinct. The team accomplishes what is necessary [with efficiency], and then departs promptly.”
Kotaka, a young driver from Toyota, was also impressed by his visit and expressed a future aspiration to compete internationally.
“The Super Formula car boasts greater speed, however, when considering entertainment value, the captivating sound of NASCAR is truly remarkable,” Kotaka expressed to Motorsport.com’s Japanese edition. “With F1 becoming quieter in recent times, NASCAR stands alone in its ability to produce such an incredible sound.”
The main grandstand and the stands at the first corner were both completely occupied, unlike in Japan where the corner stands were also crowded with a large number of people.
“I aspire to compete in the pinnacle of Japanese racing, which consists of Super Formula and SUPER GT. If given the opportunity, I would like to embrace this challenge at a young age, with the hope of potentially returning to these prestigious competitions later in life.”
Japan offers superior food and restroom facilities, while the racing experience is more exceptional in foreign countries!
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