Japanese constructor Dome’s involvement in the ERA Championship allows it to support students, something that the man behind Dome’s Formula 4 project is an advocate of.
Yoshi Arimatsu is project manager of the Dome F110 Formula 4 car, the petrol-powered base of the Mitsu-Bachi F110e that will be used by teams in the ERA Championship.
Arimatsu says he was attracted to the upcoming entry-level electric single-seater series because of its focus on involving students and independent companies’ technology.
Students, universities and small companies will be able to design their own technology for use in the more open Innovation class, while other teams can run spec cars completed by series organizer The Driving Force in the Sports class.
It’s understood there won’t be any caps or limits on technology in the Innovation class, but a model of teams being required to offer their technology for sale to other teams at a set price will be used to ensure cost control.
“I was always a supporter of Formula Student, and I like lots of good ideas from students,” Arimatsu told e-racing365.
“I also want to advise them and guide them and say, ‘Hey look, the adult people do this!’ I like this kind of stuff.
“Dieter [Vanswijgenhoven, ERA’s technical and business director] showed up about three years ago, and we talked about how we are good supporters of Formula Student.
He gave us some ideas of this, mainly because they are coming from students, and they were good ideas. [He suggested], if you like it, we can just use your chassis, but I don’t know if it will work or not! That was the start.”
In addition to the opportunity for both companies to continue working with students through the ERA Championship, which will debut in the summer, Arimatsu says he’s glad to see the Japanese company’s Formula 4 chassis running in Europe.
The standard Dome F110 is used in the F4 Japanese Championship but most other Formula 4 series worldwide use Tatuus and Mygale machinery, from Italy and France, respectively.
“On top of liking student ideas and supporting students, we also like to see the fusion of cultures,” explained Arimatsu.
“The base car, the F110, is designed for the FIA F4 class but with Japanese interpretations.
“There is the Tatuus, which is a respectable car as well, but European people know the European stuff [and not the Japanese cars].
“We think the Japanese interpretation of the car is good but how you see it, this is another wish of ours to watch.”
Dome Considering Options for Bringing ERA Car to Japan
Dome is considering ways it can take the electric F110e to Japan but Arimatsu admits that winning over petrolheads in his own country will be a challenge.
“We start very carefully. The degree of interest of electric vehicles is probably different in Japan to Europe,” he said.
“In Japan, it’s still low-key. We want to show the ERA cars, the F110e, to the public in appropriate timing. We are targeting a Formula Student race in Japan.
“We want to present this car in front of them and show the already practical example produced by European guys. ‘Look, they’re doing this, why don’t we?’
“That is the start point we’d like to have. Most people believe it is impossible to do this kind of stuff with a small company, because [they think] only big car manufacturers can, but we can do it like this too.”