Honda has announced an all-Super GT500 driver line-up for its factory-backed Suzuka 10 Hours entry this August when the Japanese venue hosts Asia’s leg of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
Naoki Yamamoto, Hideki Mutoh and Daisuke Nakajima join forces aboard Honda Team Motul’s NSX GT3 on August 24-26 when Super GT-spec GT300 and JAF GT-spec supercars, teams and drivers take on some of the best FIA GT3 entries from around the world.
Team Mugen’s regular GT500 combination of ex-IndyCar driver and 2013 GT300 champion Mutoh and Nakajima – brother of recent Le Mans winner Kazuki – will be familiar to many, but it’s Yamamoto who is perhaps the standout name given his sensational start to the 2018 season. The 29-year-old currently leads both the Super Formula standings with Motul Team Mugen and Super GT500 points alongside Raybrig Team Kunimitsu co-driver Jenson Button, who compete together in a GT500-spec Honda NSX.
The 2013 Super Formula champion has also enjoyed success at Suzuka where he claimed pole in partnership with Frédéric Makowiecki for 2013’s 1000km Summer Endurance Race, which switches to a 10-hour format this year under the stewardship of SRO Motorsports Group, Mobilityland and GTA.
Meanwhile, Modulo Drago Corse has also firmed up its Honda crew by announcing that Takashi Kogure will join GT300 debutant Hiroki Otsu and team owner Ryo Michigami.
Kogure, the 2010 Super GT500 champion and 2011 Summer Endurance Race winner, was partnered with Michigami at Dome Honda Racing between 2005 and 2009 but now drives for Keihin Real Racing with whom he won Super GT500’s season-opening round at Okayama.
CarGuy Racing’s NSX GT3 shared by Takeshi Kimura, Naoki Yokomizo and Kei Cozzolino completes Honda’s current three-car Suzuka 10 Hours entry.
ABOUT THE SUZUKA 10 HOURS
The Suzuka 10 Hours, which becomes Asia’s sole leg of the Intercontinental GT Challenge this season, is being jointly administered by SRO Motorsports Group, Super GT organisers GT Association, and Suzuka’s management company Mobilityland Corporation.
Uniquely, the race offers FIA GT3 cars from all over the world an opportunity to compete equally against Japanese teams running similar machinery and the JAF GT-spec chassis only found in Super GT’s GT300 category.
August’s 47th Summer Endurance Race builds on the legacy of Suzuka’s previous 1000-kilometre event. Although best known previously as Super GT’s blue riband round, the race has also featured on the FIA GT Championship, BPR Series, World Sportscar Championship and All-Japan Sports Prototype Championship schedules since its establishment in 1966.
Pirelli has been chosen as the event’s official tyre supplier while prize money totalling 100-million Yen has also been confirmed.