The team

The Japanese Nova Group first entered into motorsport in 1991 with the creation of the Super Nova Racing team, contesting the All Japan Formula 3 Championship from 1991 until 1993.  Having quickly established themselves as a front-running team in the highly respected Japanese domestic series, Super Nova Racing made the move into International arena of European Formula 3000 in 1994.  The David Sears led team ran Japan’s Takachiho (‘Taki’) Inoue and Italy’s Vincenzo Sospiri, a championship title contender until the final round of the series at Magny Cours.  With four drivers in contention for championship victory, Sospiri ultimately finished fourth in the highly competitive series, a remarkable achievement for the fledgling team.

Supernova International Racing Ltd

In 1995, Super Nova’s second year of operation, the team dominated the Formula 3000 Championship.  Italian Vincenzo Sospiri and Brazilian Ricardo Rosset took their Reynard 95Ds across the line in first place on no fewer than five occasions (Silverstone, Barcelona, Pau, Enna-Pergusa and Spa Francorchamps) en route to claiming first and second places in the championship with one round of the series remaining.  By the end of the eight race series Super Nova had accrued a total of 72 championship points, whilst no other team collected more than 26 points.

1996 once again saw Super Nova consistently leading the field.  Swede Kenny Brack won 4 races on the road, had no less than 7 podium finishes, and only missed clinching the Championship title by one point with Brazilian Marcos Gueiros finishing in 5th position.  Despite a dispute at the last round in Hockenheim,  Kenny Brack was the moral victor of the Championship.

In 1997 Super Nova were determined to regain the Championship crown once again and this they did with Brazilian Ricardo Zonta taking the title in some style at the penultimate race at Mugello, Italy.  The 1997 season saw no less than 6 different race winners during the 10 rounds which threw the Championship wide open with at one point six drivers in the running for the title,  however Ricardo Zonta triumphed for Super Nova.

1998 was yet another very good year for Super Nova with 7 pole positions and 9 podium finishes,  Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya took the F3000 title at Nurburgring in Germany.  Being a frontrunner all season,  it was still down to the final race before he could claim the throne.  Since no one could predict the outcome,  the excitement of the Championship was kept on top until the finishing line.

Despite a slow start to the 1999 season, Dane Jason Watt finished strongly with two victories for the last two races at Spa and Nurburgring.  This along with David Saelens picking up some valuable points meant the team finished second in the Team Championsip with Jason finishing second in the drivers table.

The 2000 season saw an exciting battle for the Driver’s Championship between Super Nova’s Nicolas Minassian and Bruno Junqueira of the Petrobras Jnr Team.  After seven rounds, both drivers were on equal points having won three races each, but going into the final race at Spa, Nicolas had fallen to seven points behind Junqueira, meaning that he had to finish in no lower than first position to stand a chance of winning the Championship.  Despite a very strong challenge, the task was just too much and Nicolas had to settle for second place, three points behind winner Junqueira.  Team mate David Saelens in his second year for Super Nova finished in equal sixth place, with three third places at Magny Cours, Monaco and Barcelona.

In 2001, Benetton test driver Mark Webber and Brazilian Mario Haberfeld were in the cars for the final year of the T99/50 Lola chassis model.  Mark had his first win of the season at the second race in Imola.  A further two wins followed in Monaco and Magny Cours, but with four retirements in the last four races, Mark was unable to challenge an unstoppable Justin Wilson in the Nordic Racing car and therefore finished second in the Driver’s Championship.  Super Nova laid in second place in the Teams’ Championship until the final race of the year when they dropped to third behind Nordic Racing and Petrobras Junior Team. 

In 2002 the new Lola B02/50 cars were introduced into the Championship.  Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais had a fantastic season with the team, taking no less than six pole positions, winning three races at Imola, Monaco and Nurburgring and finishing on the podium a further five times during the season.  Despite finishing three points behind Tomas Enge in the Championship at the end of the season, Sebastien was later announced champion following the failure of a drugs test by Tomas Enge after the Hungarian Grand Prix. 

2003 saw no less than four different drivers in the Super Nova cars.  Italian Enrico Toccacelo remained with the team throughout the season, winning the Nurburgring race and finishing on the podium in Barcelona.  He finished sixth in the Drivers Championship.  American Derek Hill ran with the team for the first five races until he was replaced by Dane Nicolas Kiesa for the Silverstone race.  When Nicolas left for Minardi F1, Brit Sam Hancock drove the final three races of the year.

2004 the last year of the F3000 Championship, Super Nova again had a total of four drivers for the season.  We signed South African born Alan Van Der Merve and Austrian Patrick Freisacher, then after the forth race, Belgium Jeffrey Van Hooydonk replaced Freisacher. Alan completed seven races where Can Artam (Turkish) finished the final three races for Super Nova Racing.

2005 saw the beginning of the all new GP2 Series Championship the unofficial F1 feeder Series. Super Nova signed Italian Giorgio Pantano for the season. He finished on podium six times & started in pole position once in Nurburgring. He was joined at the last minute by Adam Carroll from Northern Ireland who claimed three first places, stealing the show at Monaco, and winning points for fastest lap twice. Both drivers signed management agreements with the team. Together Super Nova collected 3rd place in the first ever GP2 Team Championship, and 5th and 6th in the driver Championship.

David Sears

David began his motorsport career in 1976 completing a Jim Russell Racing Drivers School Course and winning both the races he entered.  In 1977 and 1978 he privately entered and raced a Royale RP24 Formula Ford 1600 in the British National Formula Ford Championship, finishing third overall with the accolade of highest placed privateer. 

The results encouraged Royale to offer David a works car on loan for the 1979 season, and Minister lent him works engines. He won both the highly competitive RAC and P&O Formula Ford 1600 Championships, winning 19 races in his Rushen Green prepared car.  At the end of the season he was presented the prestigious Grovewood Award as one of the most promising British and Commonwealth drivers.

In 1980 Sears consolidated his single seater experience by competing in Formula Three for Rushen Green, beating such notable drivers as Nigel Mansell, Stefan Johansson and Roberto Guerrero.  He also won the BMW County Championship, driving alongside Martin Brundle and Patrick Neve in a BMW 323i.

The next season, due to budgetary restrictions, David raced in select F3 races for the fledging Eddie Jordan Racing Team.  He finished consistently in the top six, beating Martin Brundle, Jonathan Palmer and Roberto Moreno on several occasions.

David joined Gerry Marshall in the 1982 Willhire 24 hour race in a Capri, and the pair finished in a strong second place.  In 1983 David moved into Sports 2000 Thundersports, taking several class victories and never finishing off the podium.

In 1984 he drove the works XJS Jaguar for the highly respected Tom Walkinshaw Racing outfit in the European Touring Car Championship, scoring a notable second place in the rain affected Tourist Trophy at Silverstone always in the top three places.

In 1985 David competed in selected Group A races for Ford with Andy Rouse.  The pair led the Tourist Trophy at Silverstone until a wheel failure forced them into retirement, and at Brands Hatch he finished second to Rouse, helping him to win yet another Group A Championship.  He also competed in selected Group A races in Japan for Toyota at the end of the season.

In 1986 he continued to race Group A cars for Ford and Toyota in the UK and Japan, and made his Group C debut in a Sard Toyota.

Again his racing career changing direction, David raced in an Ecosse C2 car in the British Sports Car Championship with Don Shead.  At  Donington he shared the winning car with Andy Rouse in the only two driver race in the British Saloon Car Championship and again finished second in the Willhire 24 hour race in a BMW M3 with Robin Brundle and Gerritt Van Kouwen, being the quickest driver in the two car, six driver team.

In 1989, driving a Sierra Cosworth with Andy Rouse, David won the Donington Group A race in the British Touring Car Championship, and drove with Will Hoy in Japan for Auto Beaurex Racing, achieving consistent top three places.

1990 saw a highly successful privateer entry at the Le Mans 24 hour race when the all British driver line up of Sears, Anthony Reid and Tiff Needell drove their Alpha Porsche to third, behind the two works Jaguars.

Having finally hung up his helmet David formed the International Formula 3000 team, Super Nova Racing, in January 1994. 

David Sears has an outstanding reputation for extracting the best out of his team, and his ability to maximise a driver’s talents and focus his mind is renowned within the motor racing fraternity.  David is the son of Jack Sears, twice British Saloon Car Champion and a leading driver in the 1960’s.  Jack is now a director of the RAC and past Chairman of Silverstone Circuits.

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