Japanese Formula Pacific 1979

The start of the 1979 series was disappointing for the neutral but great news for Masahiro Hasemi as he easily won the first two races in the same Nissan-engined Chevron B40 that had dominated the 1978 series. Takao Wada had exchanged his Nova for a Falcon 78A but was no closer to the Chevron. The only other new car was a second B40-Nissan that was entered by Central 20 Racing Team for Haruhito Yanagida. Naohiro Fujita's Toyota-powered Chevron B35 and the old Central 20 Racing Team March 752 were also back, as was the Nova 53P, now driven by Kenji Takahashi.

The season got an injection of life at Fuji in June when a host of new cars appeared. Kazuyoshi Hoshino joined the series with a third Chevron B40, Takao Wada had a brand new March 79B, Kiyoshi Misaki had a March 773, Keiichi Suzuki a Ralt RT1 and Central 20 Racing Team had converted a F2 March 782 to Nissan power for Masatomo Shimizu. Hasemi just beat Hoshino to pole position but both dropped out of the race, leaving Wada to give his 79B a debut victory. Wada took pole position at the next race from Hoshino and Fujita's Chevron B35 with Hasemi having to start from the back after a troubled practice. Hoshino took the victory and Hasemi charged through to take second place, leaving Wada third. Satoru Nakajima then joined the series at Tsukuba in October, the youngster just returned from an abortive run in British F3 with the Nova 513. He settled quickly into Hoshinio's Chevron B40 and dominated the event, winning from pole position. Wada was second with Hasemi failing to finish which left Wada with an almost unassailable championship lead as they went to the final race at Suzuka. Hasemi's two wins earlier in the year had only been worth 15 points each due to the small field so he was on 49 points with Wada now on 66.

Wada took pole position at Suzuka but both Hoshino and Hasemi were disqualified after practice so that left Takahashi in the Nova 53P alongside Wada on the front row. With Wada now guaranteed the title, it was his teammate Takahashi who took a surprise race win.

The races

01 Apr 1979 > Tsukuba

22 Apr 1979 > Tsukuba

03 Jun 1979 > Fuji

26 Aug 1979 > Tsukuba

14 Oct 1979 > Tsukuba

21 Oct 1979 > Mine

03 Nov 1979 > Suzuka

1979 Japanese Formula Pacific Championship table

1Takao WadaFalcon 78A - Nissan LZ14
March 79B - Nissan LZ14
71 pts1 win
2Kenji TakahashiNova 53P - Nissan LZ14 Tomei54 pts1 win
3Masahiro HasemiChevron B40 - Nissan LZ1449 pts2 wins
4Naohiro FujitaChevron B35 - Toyota 2T-G Tom's35 pts 
5Kiyoshi MisakiNova 512 - Toyota 2T-G
March 773 - Toyota 2T-G
24 pts 
6=Haruhito YanagidaChevron B40 - Nissan LZ1423 pts 
6=Masatomo ShimizuMarch 752 - Nissan LZ14
March 782 - Nissan LZ14
23 pts 
8Kazuyoshi HoshinoChevron B40 - Nissan LZ1420 pts1 win
9=Takeshi IidaFalcon 78A - Nissan LZ1416 pts 
9=Keiichi SuzukiRalt RT1 - Ford BDA Hart16 pts