Legendary Japanese outfit Team Goh has confirmed it will enter this year’s Suzuka 10 Hours with a pair of all-new McLaren 720S GT3s.
Asia’s only Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli round attracted a stellar 35-strong GT3 line-up comprising local Japanese and international entries last season. And an even stronger roster looks increasingly likely this year.
Le Mans winner Seiji Ara and team owner Kazumichi Goh are behind the McLaren Customer Racing Japan project which will see the new 720S contest this season’s Super GT and Super Taikyu series. Both cars will then come together for Suzuka’s 48th Summer Endurance Race.
The cars will also wear modern interpretations of the pink and graphite ‘Lark’ liveries that adorned both the F1 GTR’s short and longtail models in Japan in the mid-1990s.
Team Principal Goh-san is no stranger to racing with McLaren and this latest announcement sees the legendary name reunited with the British brand. Debuting the McLaren F1 GTR in the All-Japan Grand Touring Championship (JGTC) in 1996, Team Goh secured the title in dominant fashion, and then raced with the McLaren F1 GTR ‘Longtail’ at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1997. From here, the team went on to enjoy further success at the famous French endurance event, taking overall honours in 2004.
Under the team name of McLaren Customer Racing Japan, the alliance will run a pair of McLaren 720S GT3s. Goh-san will be joined by long-serving McLaren associate, Minoru Yasukawa, as well as former members from the 1996 JGTC championship-winning team and the 24 Hours of Le Mans campaign in 2004.
“The opportunity to work with McLaren again is very special indeed, particularly after the success we enjoyed more than 20 years ago,” said Goh-san. “The performance we have witnessed of the McLaren 720S GT3 is already extremely positive, and hopefully that winning spark can be rekindled during the upcoming season. We are looking forward to the challenge of this new chapter, and enjoying the taste of success together again very soon.”
McLaren will be joined at Suzuka by at least eight more manufacturers – Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Honda, Mercedes-AMG, Nissan and Porsche – all of which have registered to contest a full season of Intercontinental GT Challenge.
The world’s only global GT3 championship kicks off with the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in Australia this weekend.