April 21, 2021

The big questions ahead of the 2021 Super GT season

The 2021 SUPER GT season begins this weekend with a first trip to Okayama in two years, after the former Pacific Grand Prix venue was axed from last year’s coronavirus-affected schedule. And considering how much the cars have changed since then, especially in the GT500 class, this weekend really does represent a step into the unknown.

It’s hard to imagine this year topping the 2020 campaign for sheer drama, but the signs are pointing towards perhaps an even closer battle at the front of the field in the second year of the Japanese championship’s full adoption of Class One regulations. Despite a freeze on aero development since last season, Nissan looks to be in a much better position to challenge Honda and Toyota, while on the tyre front Michelin and Dunlop appear ready to present Bridgestone with its biggest challenge in several seasons.

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Throw in a few intriguing off-season driver changes, a more varied calendar and a massive GT300 field bursting with quality and fascinating plotlines of its own, and 2021 has all the makings of a classic campaign – and one that’s virtually impossible to call. With that in mind, here are the big questions that we hope to start getting answers to at Okayama…

Motorsport.tv will show the entire 2021 SUPER GT season live, starting with this weekend’s Okayama opener. Available worldwide except Japan. Click here for more information.

Cars leave the pitlane

Cars leave the pitlane

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

How will last year’s top two crews cope without their absentee drivers?

The big news ahead of this weekend’s first race is that both of the cars that fought for last year’s title until the final corner of the final lap in the Fuji Speedway season finale – the #1 Team Kunimitsu Honda and the #37 TOM’S Toyota – are without one of their regular drivers, with Tadasuke Makino and Sacha Fenestraz both on the sidelines for Okayama.

The new-look #1 Stanley Honda NSX-GT will be piloted this weekend by Naoki Yamamoto and Hideki Mutoh, as Makino continues his long journey back to fitness after being hit by meningitis in December. Ex-IndyCar man Mutoh has plenty of GT500 experience, but Okayama will be his first race on Bridgestone tyres since 2016 – having spent four seasons with Team Mugen on Yokohamas – and the evidence from testing is that he’ll need more time before he’s fully up to speed on the benchmark rubber over a single lap.

#1 STANLEY NSX-GT

#1 STANLEY NSX-GT

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Over at TOM’S, Ryo Hirakawa faces the prospect of battling to become SUPER GT’s first solo champion since 2000 for a second year in a row, with new regular teammate Fenestraz unable to enter Japan due to visa issues. In fact, Hirakawa, partnered from 2017 until last year by Nick Cassidy, has yet to drive in a single session alongside Fenestraz, who has moved across from the #36 side of the TOM’S garage after a promising rookie season.

Replacing Fenestraz will be youngster Sena Sakaguchi, who has just one GT500 start to his name – which came in last year’s second Fuji race as he was called up to replace the absent Heikki Kovalainen at SARD. Interestingly, Hirakawa faces an almost converse worry to Yamamoto: Sakaguchi’s qualifying pace is not in doubt, but serious question marks remain over his ability to keep up that speed over a stint, given his inexperience.

While tracking the progress of Mutoh and Sakaguchi will add an extra dimension to this weekend’s opener, the #1 and #37 crews are likely to remain in the title hunt whatever happens, as a lacklustre result will result in a low success handicap for Round 2. Such is the way the series is structured that a victory in the first six races is pretty much sufficient to give yourself a title shot heading into the final two races, but a single point for either Yamamoto or Hirakawa at Okayama will be enough to end the hopes of their respective absent partners.

Can the title-winning pair of 2019 recreate their old magic?

When Kenta Yamashita was parachuted in to replace Cassidy in the #37 TOM’S Toyota for the final two races last year, it almost immediately gave rise to speculation that ‘Yamaken’, as he is nicknamed in Japan, would be heading back to SUPER GT full-time in 2021. And while TOM’S wanted to keep hold of Yamashita, the temptation to put the driving squad that won the 2019 title for Team LeMans back together was just too great to resist for Toyota.

And so, Yamashita and his old partner Kazuya Oshima are reunited this year in the Rookie Racing Toyota GR Supra, which has been decked out in the orange and gold colours of new title sponsor Eneos for the new campaign. But besides the colour change, the team is now operating solo after running under the umbrella of the experienced Cerumo squad in 2020, although many personnel – including chief engineer Kazuya Abe – remain the same.

#14 ENEOS X PRIME GR Supra

#14 ENEOS X PRIME GR Supra

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

The timesheets from the Okayama test in early March were not especially encouraging, as Rookie Racing ended up the slowest of the five Bridgestone-shod GR Supras, and a private test at Suzuka didn’t go a whole lot better. But next time out at Fuji, in the final pre-season test, the #14 car suddenly found some pace, as Yamashita set the second-quickest time of the test, only losing out to Sho Tsuboi (Oshima’s 2020 teammate) in the #36 TOM’S car.

Oshima claims that the team made progress with a set-up change at Fuji that, at the very least, should put Rookie Racing in the conversation for a win at the Toyota-owned track, where Yamashita is also the lap record-holder. But whether that particular set-up will work at the much more narrow and technical Okayama layout is an open question; given how tough it is to pass at the track, Oshima and Yamashita can’t afford a repeat of their lacklustre test performance in qualifying if they are aiming for a podium.

Rookie Racing, which also competes in Super Taikyu with a roster of factory Toyota aces and company president Akio Toyoda himself (using the nom de guerre ‘Morizo’), has benefitted from an influx of investment, and Oshima himself is becoming an increasingly influential player behind the scenes. The team has every chance to become the de facto Toyota GT500 flagship team – but winning the title as soon as this year is a tall order.

Can Kovalainen finally challenge for an elusive second title?

It’s been five years now since Heikki Kovalainen won the SUPER GT title alongside Kohei Hirate, which remains the one and only title triumph for the SARD Toyota squad – one of the original teams that participated in the very first season of JGTC. Since then, Kovalainen and the team have won a race every year, but have lacked the consistency to mount a true title challenge. But that very well could be about to change in 2021.

A new team structure led by three-time GT500 champion Juichi Wakisaka seemed to finally gel in the middle of last season, as Kovalainen and teammate Yuichi Nakayama delivered the GR Supra’s second (and, as it turned out, final) victory of the season at Fuji. Although Nakayama was only ninth in the final standings, Kovalainen was full of praise at the end of the season at the way the team was working after several inconsistent seasons.

#39 DENSO KOBELCO SARD GR Supra

#39 DENSO KOBELCO SARD GR Supra

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

The good news for SARD is that the momentum appears to have carried over into 2021, and with Cerumo and Rookie Racing having split into two separate entities, the team is no longer the obvious minnow in the ranks of Bridgestone-equipped Toyota GT500 teams. At the Okayama test, Kovalainen ensured the team finished as the best of the GR Supras, while a couple of weeks later at Fuji, Nakayama’s time put SARD fifth overall and third among the Toyotas, ahead of the #37 TOM’S machine and the slightly anonymous #38 Cerumo car.

That bodes well for a title assault, but one problem that SARD faced too often last year was poor tyre selection that would sometimes leave the Denso-liveried #39 machine stranded down the order. Kovalainen admits that in this regard his team still lags behind TOM’S, which always finds a way to ensure that at least one of its cars is in contention, but is equally hopeful the hard work done during the winter will help the team avoid this pitfall more often.

Kovalainen himself seems like a new man since the final stages of last year. At the end of the 2018 and ‘19 campaigns, he was fed up with SARD’s inconsistent form. Nobody would have blamed him for calling time on his Japanese adventure then, but now 39-year-old is gearing up for a seventh season in GT500 – and a second where he’ll be spending the bulk of the year in Japan – and is seemingly as hungry as ever for title number two.

Can ARTA and Real Racing emerge from Team Kunimitsu’s shadow?

While it was Team Kunimitsu that snatched Honda’s second GT500 title in three years in 2020, it just as easily could have been either of the Sakura marque’s other Bridgestone squads, which were both in contention right up until the final race of the season. Real Racing led the championship at the halfway point of the season after an especially impressive win at Motegi in September, and ARTA’s late-season momentum looked as it could carry Aguri Suzuki’s team all the way to a first championship since 2007.

Much like Team Kunimitsu, Real Racing goes into the new season with a new livery, with the blue of the now-defunct Keihin brand replaced by the crimson of Astemo. But there’s no change on the driver front, as for a third season in succession, Bertrand Baguette and Koudai Tsukakoshi will partner each other in what’s perhaps one of the most well-rounded line-ups on the grid. Indeed, with both Makino and Fenestraz absent, there’s an argument to say it’s perhaps the strongest in the GT500 field based on 2020 form alone.

#17 Astemo NSX-GT

#17 Astemo NSX-GT

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

You could make a similar argument about ARTA duo Tomoki Nojiri and Nirei Fukuzumi, or at least in terms of raw potential. Both drivers made their fair share of mistakes last year but went on a sensational run of form late in the year with three straight podiums, including a win at Motegi, launching them back into the championship conversation. The team seems to have found a set-up that works for Nojiri, but whether that will translate to this year’s three returning tracks – Okayama, Autopolis and Sugo – remains unknown.

In testing, it’s Real Racing that has looked like it has had the edge of three Bridgestone Honda teams, with Baguette reporting a major improvement to the set-up on the final day of pre-season testing at Fuji. But there’s also an air of confidence within the ARTA camp, which didn’t do much running on new tyres in the Fuji test. With Kunimitsu missing one of its star drivers there’s an opportunity for one of Honda’s Bridgestone teams to stake an early claim to being the Sakura marque’s lead hope for a third title in four years.

Will a switch of tyre make Mugen a true contender?

As far as this year’s four-way GT500 tyre war goes, the big news is that for the first time since 2010 Dunlop has two cars in the top class. Joining Nakajima Racing in using the Sumitomo brand’s products this year is fellow Honda outfit Mugen, which is coming off the back of four largely different seasons with Yokohama. And so far, it looks like it’s been a good move, and one that promises to add a new variable to the GT500 battle.

Two pole positions and (a slightly fortuitous) second-place finish for Nakajima pair Takuya Izawa and Hiroki Otsu amounted to the best season a Dunlop squad has had in many years. That provided the impetus for Mugen to make the switch, with Ukyo Sasahara saying the difference with the Yokohama tyre was practically night and day in the first official pre-season test at Okayama – where new teammate Toshiki Oyu topped the timesheets.

#16 Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT

#16 Red Bull MOTUL MUGEN NSX-GT

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Given Dunlop’s prowess over a single lap, the odds are short on Mugen getting a pole, possibly more than one, this season. The question is whether enough progress can be made over a race distance for that to translate into an improvement on last year’s tally of one podium finish for the Red Bull-liveried car. A second car to provide data in that regard can only help, with Izawa and Otsu often having to resort last year to experimenting with new rubber during the races to speed up tyre development as the only Dunlop user.

Then there’s the Mugen driver line-up, which is the youngest match-up in the GT500 field following the arrival of Oyu alongside Sasahara. The pair graduated from Honda’s Suzuka Racing School in the same year (2016) and know each other well, creating a good atmosphere in the team. New team director Hirokatsu Tanaka, who replaces ex-F1 racer Shinji Nakano in the role, will be aiming to harness their youth and aggression.

The other side to this storyline is how Yokohama will fare with just two cars on its roster for the first time since 2016. Incidentally, that season marked the last time a car with Yokohama tyres won a race in the top class, so perhaps the brand will have an easier time focussing on trying to get its products to work with just two models, the #19 Racing Project Bandoh Toyota and the #24 Kondo Racing Nissan, instead of trying to cater for all three.

#19 WedsSport ADVAN GR Supra, #24 Realize Corporation ADVAN GT-R

#19 WedsSport ADVAN GR Supra, #24 Realize Corporation ADVAN GT-R

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Can Nissan give the GT-R a winning send-off?

Whisper it, but it looks like this year could very well be the final year of the GT-R in SUPER GT’s top class. Nothing is official yet, and Nissan itself is tight-lipped on the subject, but the rumours in the paddock that surfaced following last year’s unveiling of the Z Proto road car simply refuse to go away. If those rumours are anything to go by, a GT500 version of what will go on sale next year as the 400Z is already in the works, and may debut in 2022.

It means that the current GT-R, which has gone through various iterations but is essentially based on the same road-going model as the 2008 version, could be making a farewell tour of sorts this year. And if that is the case, Nissan will be hoping for history to repeat itself, as the old Skyline GT-R R34 took the title in its last season of action in 2003 before being replaced the following year by a 350Z-based challenger (which won again in 2004).

Once again, Nissan’s title hopes are likely to rest with NISMO pair Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda, who go into their eighth season as teammates aboard the ‘red car’. Two victories at Suzuka helped keep them in the title hunt until the end of the season, but the first was ballast-assisted and the second owed everything to the timing of the safety car. With a level playing field, the GT-R was the third force against Honda and Toyota.

#23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R

#23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Although the aero freeze means the GT-R’s high-downforce concept remains in place, gains have been made on the engine side (particularly on driveability following a tricky transition to the new-for-2020 common Bosch ECU) and, perhaps more importantly, with the Michelin tyres. The early indications are that Michelin’s 2021 offerings are a step forward after a season in which the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to affect its tyre supply.

Quintarelli, very much the lynchpin of the close relationship Nissan and Michelin enjoy, appeared much more confident of his prospects of a fifth GT500 title following the Fuji pre-season test, where he set the fastest time on the second day. While keen to play down the chances of a Nissan win at Okayama, saying that the ‘special Balance of Performance’ is likely to affect the engine character, he’s targeting the second round at Fuji in May and the following race at Suzuka to kick the GT-R title bid into gear.

What impact will rookie Matsushita have on Impul?

The timing of the safety car in the second Suzuka race last year denied popular Nissan outfit Impul a likely first win since 2016, but that second-place finish was the highlight of an otherwise largely forgettable season for Daiki Sasaki and Kazuki Hiramine. For the third time in four seasons, the occupants of the Calsonic-liveried GT-R failed to crack the top 10 in the standings, languishing far behind the other Bridgestone-shod cars.

Impul’s driver line-up hasn’t stayed consistent since the 2015-16 off-season, and this year there’s been another change as Sasaki has been replaced by Nobuharu Matsushita. Anyone who has watched Formula 2 over the past five years or so will need no introduction to Matsushita, whose hard-charging, never-say-die style is not only sure to go down well with team boss Kazuyoshi Hoshino but also likely to match well to new teammate Hiramine.

Nobuharu Matsushita, #12 Calsonic IMPUL GT-R

Nobuharu Matsushita, #12 Calsonic IMPUL GT-R

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Matsushita did have two races in the GT300 ranks at the end of last year after his F2 campaign came to an unexpected early end, but he seems to have adapted to the rigours of GT500 very easily so far, leading the Nissan contingent in the first pre-season test at Okayama. And after years of feeling the pressure of trying to progress from F2 to a seat in Formula 1, he’s relishing the comparatively relaxed atmosphere of the SUPER GT paddock. 

Meanwhile, Sasaki can consider himself fortunate that he didn’t get axed from Nissan’s GT500 line-up after an error-strewn third season at Impul last year. He’s been granted a second chance with Kondo Racing, where he made his debut way back in 2014, to partner Mitsunori Takaboshi, and both drivers need to ensure the team doesn’t finish bottom of the GT500 championship table again. A new chief engineer in the form of long-time Cerumo Toyota man Takuji Murata could be what the team needs to escape the doldrums.

Is this the year that GT300’s homegrown machines get their own back?

Of the last 10 titles in the GT300 class, eight have been won by FIA GT3 cars, which have dominated SUPER GT’s secondary category since their introduction a little over a decade ago. The arrival of ‘Mother Chassis’ cars built around a standard Dome tub in 2015 arrested the decline somewhat, but even then the last few seasons has seen a steady decline in the number of non-GT3 users, with just three MCs and four JAF GT300 cars left in 2020.

But now the trend appears to be in reverse, and that’s thanks largely to the success of the Toyota GR Supra GT300 campaigned by the Saitama Toyopet Green Brave squad last year. Second in the standings for Hiroki Yoshida and Kohta Kawaai, with two victories, seems to have sparked a mini-resurgence for the JAF GT300 ruleset, now renamed simply (and confusingly) as ‘GT300’. With both Max Racing and LM Corsa trading in their Lexus RC F GT3s for Supras, there are now six GT300 cars on the grid, along with a pair of MCs.

GT300 race start practice

GT300 race start practice

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

As well as the Supra, there are the pair of Toyota Prius PHV GR Sports operated by the apr team (one of which boasts a hybrid system), and the brand-new second generation Subaru BRZ, which replaces the old car that had been in service since 2012. Despite the age of the original BRZ, the team enjoyed one of its most competitive seasons in years last year, boosted by the progress made by Dunlop. That’s something that LM Corsa, switching from Michelin tyres, will also be hoping to benefit from this year.

In pre-season testing, the Supra contingent in particular has looked strong. At Okayama, three of the four sessions were topped by a Supra (with only the JLOC Lamborghini Huracan preventing a clean sweep), while at Fuji two of the four sessions were headed by Supra teams, including one topped by the Max Racing’s plain carbon-liveried car that had barely rolled out of the workshop beforehand, having missed the Okayama test. Small wonder, then, that reigning champion Joao Paulo de Oliveira expressed concern at their speed.

Still, the odds on a GT3 car winning the title remain strong, given that 21 of the 29 cars on the GT300 grid this year are GT3s. One model to look out for is the 2020-spec Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, which was one of the worst-affected cars by last year’s Fuji-centric schedule as it produces higher downforce than most. Both the Goodsmile Racing (Nobuteru Taniguchi/Tatsuya Kataoka) and LEON Racing (Naoya Gamou/Togo Suganami) outfits in particular know what it takes to win the title and will be eyeing revenge.

#4 Goodsmile Hatsune Miku AMG

#4 Goodsmile Hatsune Miku AMG

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Which youngsters will stake a claim to a GT500 promotion?

Amid ongoing travel restrictions imposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the number of foreign drivers racing in SUPER GT is down to almost historically low levels, with just four non-Japanese drivers in GT500 (once Fenestraz makes his return). That means it’s a good time to be a young, fast Japanese driver – and there’s no shortage in the GT300 class this year that have realistic aspirations of stepping up to the big leagues in due course.

Fenestraz’s replacement in the #37 TOM’S car, Sena Sakaguchi, was linked to a full-time move to the GT500 ranks last year and surely has to be at the front of the queue should any further vacancies arise within the Toyota stable. But his replacement at K’Tunes Racing, Hibiki Taira is also worth keeping an eye on. Okinawa-born Taira demolished the field in Japanese F4 last year, winning all but two races, and was second-fastest in Fuji testing.

Honda meanwhile is continuing the now-established tradition of pairing veteran Shinichi Takagi with one of its contracted young guns at ARTA. After Nirei Fukuzumi and Toshiki Oyu both made the step up to GT500, hoping to make a similarly big impression in the #55 NSX GT3 this year is Ren Sato, last year’s French Formula 4 runner-up. Teppei Natori is likewise making his debut in SUPER GT for the UpGarage squad in place of veteran Kosuke Matsuura, partnering Takashi Kobayashi in the #18 NSX, and has something of a point to prove after losing official Honda backing over the winter.

#55 ARTA NSX GT3

#55 ARTA NSX GT3

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Over at Nissan, Kiyoto Fujinami and Keishi Ishikawa both had the chance to sample the GT500 class GT-R during the traditional driver shootout in December at Fuji. After his title win alongside Kondo Racing teammate Joao Paulo de Oliveira last year, Fujinami is sure to be among the front-runners again in 2021, while for Gainer driver Ishikawa, a switch to the same Dunlop tyres as used by the more competitive sister car of Hironobu Yasuda and Katsuyuki Hiranaka should be a major boost to the ex-Honda junior’s hopes.

On the international side, there’s Giuliano Alesi, who partners 2018 GT300 runner-up Sean Walkinshaw in the Team Thailand Lexus. Just scoring points would be an achievement for the only international pairing on the grid, given the team’s recent form, but for Alesi it’s a valuable chance to learn the fundamentals of SUPER GT and gain further experience in a relatively low-pressure environment alongside his Super Formula Lights campaign.

Giuliano Alesi, #35 arto RC F GT3

Giuliano Alesi, #35 arto RC F GT3

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

How will ‘The Emperor’ fare on his return to SUPER GT?

After two years out of the spotlight, Satoshi Motoyama is back – only this time, he’s taking on the cut-and-thrust of the GT300 class driving for a team bearing his own name as part of a tie-up with former Toyota GT500 squad Team LeMans. Now 50, Motoyama has kept his hand in since stepping down from Nissan’s GT500 line-up by racing in Super Taikyu, and last year he appeared in both Formula Regional Japan and Super Formula Lights, proving that the fire is still burning inside the driver known in Japan as ‘the Emperor’.

Team LeMans with Motoyama Racing has chosen to field an Audi R8 LMS Evo on Yokohama tyres, with Motoyama joined on the driving strength by rookie Yoshiaki Katayama, a mainstay of All-Japan Formula 3 in recent seasons but never achieving particularly strong results. His place on the team owes more to the identity of his father Yoshinori, who owns the Okayama circuit and is closely connected to Team LeMans.

#6 Team LeMans Audi R8 LMS

#6 Team LeMans Audi R8 LMS

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Motoyama says that he always fancied the idea of driving in GT300 even during the height of his powers at NISMO, where he won three championships, attracted by the sheer variety of cars and the perception that the class is a ‘fun’ place to race. He also acknowledges that, so far, the reality has been rather different from that image he had all those years ago, and that trying to juggle the role of driver and team boss has been tough so far.

The early signs from testing suggest that Motoyama and Katayama may be in for a difficult year: across the four official sessions, the #6 Audi wound up 26th, 23rd, 22nd and 26th in the timesheets. Katayama didn’t win himself any friends either when he hit the #3 NDDP/B-Max Nissan on the opening day at Fuji. But the pace shown by fellow Audi/Yokohama squad Team Hitotsuyama, with which LeMans has a close relationship, at Fuji supplies a handy benchmark and suggests the package does have potential.

Drivers like Manabu Orido and Morio Nitta prove that it’s possible to stay competitive in GT300 well into your 50s, so if Motoyama still has the hunger then there’s no reason why he can’t build up his team into a race-winning force in years to come – and bid to become only the third driver to win titles in both classes after Kazuya Oshima and Masataka Yanagida.

USEFUL INFORMATION

2021 SUPER GT calendar:

Round Date Venue
Round 1 April 10-11 Okayama International Circuit
Round 2 May 3-4 Fuji Speedway
Round 3 May 29-30 Suzuka Circuit 
Round 4 July 17-18 Twin Ring Motegi
Round 5 September 11-12 Sportsland Sugo
Round 6 October 23-24 Autopolis
Round 7 November 6-7 Twin Ring Motegi
Round 8 November 27-28 Fuji Speedway

Fuji time schedule (GMT +9):

Saturday April 10

Practice 0945-1130
Qualifying 1400-1521

Sunday April 11:

Warm-up 1155-1215
Race (300km/81 laps): 1330

GT500 class entry list:

Manufacturer

Team

Tyre

No.

Drivers

Nissan

(GT-R)

NISMO

Michelin

23

Italy Ronnie Quintarelli

Japan Tsugio Matsuda

Kondo Racing

Yokohama

24

Japan Mitsunori Takaboshi

Japan Daiki Sasaki

Team Impul

Bridgestone

12

Japan Nobuharu Matsushita

Japan Kazuki Hiramine

NDDP/B-Max Racing

Michelin

3

Japan Kohei Hirate

Japan Katsumasa Chiyo

Toyota

(GR Supra)

TOM’S

Bridgestone

36

Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi

Japan Sho Tsuboi

37

Japan Ryo Hirakawa

France Sacha Fenestraz

Japan Sena Sakaguchi*

Racing Project Bandoh

Yokohama

19

Japan Yuji Kunimoto

Japan Ritomo Miyata

SARD

Bridgestone

39

Finland Heikki Kovalainen

Japan Yuichi Nakayama

Cerumo

Bridgestone

38

Japan Hiroaki Ishiura

Japan Yuji Tachikawa

Rookie Racing

Bridgestone

14

Japan Kazuya Oshima

Japan Kenta Yamashita

Honda

(NSX-GT)

Team Kunimitsu

Bridgestone

1

Japan Naoki Yamamoto

Japan Tadasuke Makino

Japan Hideki Mutoh*

ARTA

Bridgestone

8

Japan Tomoki Nojiri

Japan Nirei Fukuzumi

Team Mugen

Dunlop

16

Japan Toshiki Oyu

Japan Ukyo Sasahara

Nakajima Racing

Dunlop

64

Japan Takuya Izawa

Japan Hiroki Otsu

Real Racing

Bridgestone

17

Japan Koudai Tsukakoshi

Belgium Bertrand Baguette

* Round 1 only

GT300 class entry list (Round 1):

No. Team Car Tyre Drivers
2 Inging & Cars Tokai Dream28 Lotus Evora MC Bridgestone

Japan Hiroki Katoh

Japan Ryohei Sakaguchi

4 Goodsmile Racing with Team Ukyo Mercedes-AMG GT3 Yokohama

Japan Nobuteru Taniguchi

Japan Tatsuya Kataoka

5 Team Mach Toyota 86 MC Yokohama

Japan Reiji Hiraki

Japan Yuya Hiraki

6 Team LeMans with Motoyama Racing Audi R8 LMS Yokohama

Japan Satoshi Motoyama

Japan Yoshiaki Katayama

7 Team Studie BMW M6 GT3 Yokohama

Japan Seiji Ara

Japan Tomohide Yamaguchi

9 Pacific CarGuy Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Yokohama

Japan Takeshi Kimura

Japan Kei Cozzolino

10 Gainer Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 Dunlop

Japan Kazuki Hoshino

Japan Keishi Ishikawa

11 Gainer Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 Dunlop

Japan Katsuyuki Hiranaka

Japan Hironobu Yasuda

18 Team UpGarage Honda NSX GT3 Yokohama

Japan Teppei Natori

Japan Takashi Kobayashi

21 Hitotsuyama Racing Audi R8 LMS Yokohama

Japan Shintaro Kawabata

Japan Takuro Shinahara

22 R’Qs Motor Sports Mercedes-AMG GT3 Yokohama

Japan Hisashi Wada

Japan Masaki Jyonai

25 Team Tsuchiya Porsche 911 GT3 R Yokohama

Japan Takamitsu Matsui

Japan Kimiya Sato

30 apr Toyota Prius PHV GR Sport Yokohama

Japan Hiroaki Nagai

Japan Manabu Orido

31 apr Toyota Prius PHV GR Sport Bridgestone

Japan Yuhki Nakayama

Japan Koki Saga

34 Drago Corse Honda NSX GT3 Yokohama

Japan Ryo Michigami

Japan Shogo Mitsuyama

35 Team Thailand Lexus RC F GT3 Yokohama

United Kingdom Sean Walkinshaw

France Giuliano Alesi

48 NILZZ Racing Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 Yokohama

Japan Ryuichiro Tomita

Japan Yuki Tanaka

50 Arnage Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Yokohama

Japan Masaki Kano

Japan Masataka Yanagida

52 Saitama Toyopet Green Brave Toyota GR Supra GT300 Bridgestone

Japan Hiroki Yoshida

Japan Kohta Kawaai

55 ARTA Honda NSX GT3 Bridgestone

Japan Shinichi Takagi

Japan Ren Sato

56 Kondo Racing Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 Yokohama

Japan Kiyoto Fujinami

Brazil Joao Paulo de Oliveira

60 LM Corsa Toyota GR Supra GT300 Dunlop

Japan Hiroki Yoshimoto

Japan Shunsuke Kohno

61 R&D Sport Subaru BRZ (2021) Dunlop

Japan Takuto Iguchi

Japan Hideki Yamauchi

65 LEON Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Bridgestone

Japan Naoya Gamou

Japan Togo Suganami

87 JLOC Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Yokohama

Japan Kosuke Matsuura

Japan Natsu Sakaguchi

88 JLOC Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Yokohama

Japan Takashi Kogure

Japan Yuya Motojima

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