Japanese Formula Pacific 1978

Masahiro Hasemi was best prepared for the new Formula Pacific category, driving the Chevron B40 that he had imported late the previous year. He had already raced the car in F2 with its Formula Pacific specification Nissan LZ14 engine and lapped all his competitors at the opening race in April. At Fuji in May it was a much closer race with Takao Wada in the Tomei Jidosha Nova 53P right on the tail of the Chevron as it took the chequered flag. Wada won the next race after Hasemi retired but behind these two, the fields were very thin. Kenji Tohira drove a March "78A" for the Central 20 Racing Team but this was actually an old March 752 converted to Formula Pacific specification. Two more locally-built cars, a Falcon 78A and a Nova 512, picked up minor placings and a Kojima KE010 appeared but did not start a race. The remaining runners had European cars: Naohiro Fujita driving a 1976 Chevron B35 and Kiyoshi Misaki appearing at the final race with a Ralt RT1.

Given the small number of Formula Pacific cars available, the grids were filled out with the local Japanese 1300cc formula cars. The quickest of these was Kengo Nakamoto in a March 743 with 1.3-litre Honda engine but even he could not keep pace with the Formula Pacifics.

The races

26 Feb 1978 > Tsukuba

23 Apr 1978 > Tsukuba

03 May 1978 > Fuji

27 Aug 1978 > Tsukuba

01 Oct 1978 > Tsukuba

05 Nov 1978 > Suzuka

1978 Japanese Formula Pacific Championship table

1Masahiro HasemiChevron B40 - Nissan LZ1448 pts4 wins
2Takao WadaNova 53P - Nissan LZ1440 pts1 win
3Kenji TohiraMarch "78A" - Nissan LZ14
March 752 - Nissan LZ14
26 pts 
4Masayuki KanedaFalcon 78A - Nissan LZ1410 pts 
5Kiyoshi MisakiKojima KE010 - Toyota 2T-G
Nova 512 - Toyota 2T-G Kuwahara
Ralt RT1 - Toyota 2T-G Kuwahara
10 pts 
6Kenichi TakeshitaNova 512 - Toyota 2T-G Kuwahara8 pts