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Anna Inotsume moves to Formula Regional Japan

TCR Japan champion Anna Inotsume is set to contest her first full-season in Formula Ragional Japan, after two top-5s in a one-off appearance in 2023.

Anna Inotsume, Formula Regional Japan
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Female protagonists have been a constant presence in Formula Regional Japan in recent years: Ai Miura scored four podiums and a win in 2021, on course to become vice-champion. One year later, former W Series racer Miki Koyama completed a stellar season finishing every single race on the podium and, with 7 victories, she was crowned champion, becoming the first woman to win a FIA-sanctioned mixed-gender Formula Regional series.

While there were no full-time female entries in 2023, experienced touring car racer Anna Inotsume made her debut at Fuji, penultimate round of the season, in a Bionic Jack Racing entry. She impressed with a fifth place in race 1 and a fourth place in race 2, in her first ever outing in that car.

Inotsume - who took both the Saturday and Sunday Series titles in TCR Japan last year - will now contest the full season in the Japanese Formula Regional championship, in a HELM Motorsports entry sponsored by Yupiteru / Hagoromo 6.

"This year, we were able to step up to a new stage with Jupiteru and Hagoromo 6, and we are filled with gratitude to everyone who helped us", Inotsume commented at the announcement. "Up until now, my main field has been touring cars, so taking on the FRJ is a big challenge, but my goal since I started my career at the age of 20 has been to become a professional female driver who is active in domestic and international races."

"In order to achieve this goal, I think it is a perfect opportunity to participate in FRJ, which is the most effective category for me right now", she continued.

Inotsume, who turned 27 on the day of the announcement, started racing aged 20, inspired by her father - an All Japan Gymkhana Champion. Inotsume herself had a strong start to her racing career and quickly made a name for herself with a third place in the 2020 Kyojo Cup, as well a second place in 2022. She also entered Super Taikyu competitions and one round in the JAF-F4 Championship in 2019, her only previous experience in single seaters before being selected for the second W Series shootout - where she first drove Formula Regional machinery.

After a partial TCR Japan campaign in 2021, Inotsume made headlines in 2022 by claiming her maiden TCR win at Fuji; she eventually finished runner-up in both the Sunday and Saturday series with two wins, 9 podiums, 1 pole positions and 3 fastest laps to her name.

She returned to the Japanese TCR championship in 2023 and drove the #98 Dome Racing Honda Civic TCR FK7 to five victories and a dominant double title. The Japanese driver was therefore the first woman to clinch a national sprint-series TCR title and is currently the highest ranked woman in the TCR World Ranking.

"My slogan for this year is 'The limit is beyond.' I will do my best to reach my goals, so I appreciate your continued support," Inotsume stated about her switch to formula cars.

The series's calendar features six rounds, starting from Suzuka (9-10 March).



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