SRO, GTA, Mobilityland and SMSC unveil Suzuka 10 Hours format
25th August 2017
SRO Motorsports Group, GT Association, event promoter Mobilityland Corporation and organiser Suzuka Motor Sport Club have revealed further details about the inaugural Suzuka 10 Hours during a joint press conference held at the circuit earlier today (August 25).
The race was first unveiled by its four main partners in early March, while SRO also confirmed last month that Suzuka would become Asia’s leg of the 2018 Intercontinental GT Challenge. Now, further details have been agreed before the entry process opens on December 23.
Organisers hope the event’s format will appeal to the large number of international drivers and teams – manufacturers and privateers alike – eager to compete at the legendary Suzuka International Circuit, as well as those inside Japan and Asia keen to test themselves on ‘home’ soil against some of the world’s top GT talent.
The event will also be known as the 47th Summer Endurance Race as a continuation of the 1000-kilometre contests previously held for Super GT and Group C cars, as well as the five FIA GT/BPR rounds organised by SRO between 1994 and 1998. Inheriting the prestige and tradition of Japan’s biggest GT meeting, which regularly attracts crowds of 80,000, will make it one of the jewels in global GT racing’s crown.
As previously confirmed, the Suzuka 10 Hours brings together FIA GT3, GT300 (GT3 and JAF GT-spec in Super GT) and ST-X (Super Taikyu) supercars. They will battle for outright victory on equal terms thanks to SRO’s trusted Balance of Performance (BoP) regulations, which already govern Super GT’s GT300 class.
As well as overall victory, teams and drivers can also compete for Pro, Pro/Am and Am class honours, with a podium ceremony for the top-three finishers in each class being staged post-race. They’ll be joined on the rostrum by the top-three teams whose line-ups comprise two or more Asian drivers.
Manufacturers will score points towards the Intercontinental GT Challenge. The race will not count towards either the Super GT or Super Taikyu championships.
FACTORY SUPPORT: BIG NAMES ALREADY CONFIRMED
Extensive numbers of FIA GT3-homologated supercars already compete in Japan and across Asia as GT300 and ST-X, as well as under their more widely known GT3 moniker. The region is therefore a key market for manufacturers, four of which have already pledged their factory support 12 months before the event.
Japanese interest is understandably high given Honda, Nissan and Toyota’s domestic GT300 involvement. The exact teams, drivers and number of cars remains TBC, but fans can expect to see the new NSX, JAF GT-spec Prius and new-for-2018 GT-R NISMO entered in next season’s race.
Most European GT3 manufacturers are also expected to support Japanese and overseas teams. The first of these is Lamborghini, a very popular brand in Japan and one no doubt buoyed by last weekend’s Blancpain GT Series Asia victory at Fuji with an all-Japanese team and driver crew.
Track Days / Test Days / MotorsportDays.com