About NDDP / - Nissan Driver Development Program -

Nissan, Toyota and Honda established Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ) in 2006 as a new formula car series with the objective of educating young up-and-coming world-class drivers. Nissan began a scholarship program for selected drivers the same year.
In the 2006 season, NDDP supported the participation in FCJ of four drivers and awarded the best performing driver, Ryuji Yamamoto, who finished 2nd in the series, the Advance Scholarship. In 2007, Yamamoto began competing in the Formula Renault UK Championship under the scholarship. Nissan/Nismo continues to award four young drivers with scholarships, and supports their participation in FCJ.

*Representative of F1 racing cars

NDDP Driver

Formula Renault UK

Ryuji Yamamoto

Born: Osaka October 17th, 1988

[Main racing highlights]

2004: - 2nd in Masters 4-stroke Series
- Asia Pacific League Championship ICA Class champion
2005: Participation in Formula Dream
2006: Participation in Formula Challenge Japan, finished 2nd in the series.
2007: Participation in the Formula Renault UK Championship, best result 5th-place

Yamamoto entered FCJ as a first year student of the NDDP in 2006. He finished 2nd in the series to win the Nissan ďAdvance Scholarship.ĀEThrough the support of this scholarship, he has been participating in Formula Renault UK. Despite having to begin by getting used to a foreign country, Yamamoto finished 5th in the final race of the season, his personal best result.
This year is his second year participating in Formula Renault. He is at a new start with a new team, and aims to be a regular on the podium.

ďI have experience from last year, so not itís not like I donít even know left and right. I think I can be calmer and focus more on the races. In the team, I am able to create an environment where I can work at my own pace by actively making requests to the mechanics and such.
In the pre-season tests, I was able to record times where I could easily get in the top 5, when Iím on new tyres. I do realize tests and races require a different way of driving, but I was able to visualize what it might be like to consistently drive at a top ranked driverís time. For this season, I want to go for the podium. In the long run, I want to finish in the top 3 of the series.ĀE/p>

Formula Renault UK 2007

Formula Challenge Japan

Kimiya Sato

Born: Hyogo, October 5th, 1989
165cm/58kg Rh+AB

[Main racing highlights]

1995~1999: -Competed in Kanto Regional Junior Kart Races
2000~2002: -Competed in SL Race/Suzuka Championship
2003~2004: -Competed in Italian Open
2005: -Competed in UK Super 1/Euro Challenge
2006: -4-wheel debut, British Formula BMW Series, 10th (2nd in Rookie Cup)
2007: -British Formula BMW Series, 5th (1 win)

Daiki Sasaki

Born: Saitama, October 15th, 1991
172cm/51kg Rh+A

[Main racing highlights]

2005: -Competed in the All-Japan Junior Kart Championship and the All-Japan Kart Championship
2006: -Competed in the All-Japan Kart Championship ICA Class Series, finishing 2nd
2007: -Competed in the All-Japan Kart Championship - FA Class Champion
-ARTA Challenge RSO Class Champion

Katsumasa Chiyo

Born: Tokyo, December 9th, 1987
167cm/55kg Rh+A

[Main racing highlights]

2005: -Kart Japan Masters RSO Class Series, 2nd (1 win)
2006: -All-Japan Kart Championship FA Class Series, 9th
2007: -4-wheel debut, FCJ series 15th (best result: 5th)

Masayuki Yamashita

Born: Mie, February 12th, 1985
176cm/61kg Rh+O

[Main racing highlights]

2004: -Spot participation in Formula Toyota and FJ1600
2005: -Formula Toyota Series, 9th
2006: -Formula Toyota Series, 3rd (1 win)