Erstwhile Status Grand Prix GP2 driver Richie Stanaway is to represent Teddy Yip Jr's Asian outfit Theodore Racing in a two-day Super Formula test at Suzuka Circuit later this month.
The GP2 and GP3 series race-winner, who is missing this weekend's penultimate GP2 round in Bahrain, will follow in the footsteps of Formula Nippon champions Ralph Firman and Richard Lyons, who were both introduced to the pinnacle of Japanese motorsport by former Theodore Racing driver and Status Grand Prix managing director David Kennedy. Both Firman and Lyons went on to win Super GT 500 titles, confirming their pedigree.
Stanaway's chances of shining in the test, which takes place over 25-26 November and therefore clashes with the GP2 finale, are high as the rookie session marks the championship's first outing on Yokohama tyres, providing a level playing field and the perfect opportunity for engine manufacturers to evaluate young talent.
“I'm really pleased to have been invited to the Super Formula test to represent Teddy Yip and Theodore Racing,” the Kiwi said, “In terms of speed, it will be a pretty phenomenal car to drive and Suzuka is probably the best place to handle a high downforce car. With the Honda involvement, it's also a great opportunity to show what I can do.
“With very few opportunities available for drivers like me wanting to move to F1 at the moment, Super Formula can be a good place to get noticed, especially with the manufacturers involved. The car is probably quicker than the last couple of rows of the F1 grid and should be pretty impressive to drive.”
Once a staple on the F1 grid, Theodore Racing was founded by the late Teddy Tip Sr. The team attracted F1 world champions such as Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen to its ranks before fading from the top flight, but made a successful return to racing in 2013 under Teddy Jr's guidance, scoring a record seventh victory at the 60th Macau Grand Prix with Alex Lynn.
This weekend sees Theodore return to Macau, fielding reigning FIA F3 and Macau GP champion Felix Rosenqvist alongside Macau newcomers Jake Dennis and Lance Stroll.