16-year Super GT series veteran Shogo Mitsuyama has left Team Taisan SARD, effective immediately, per a statement on his blog.
Mitsuyama, who had driven the #26 Taisan SARD Audi R8 LMS through the first five races of the season, stated that he wishes to continue his racing activities, and thanks his fans for their support in the 2016 season.
The 40-year-old from Tokyo was a part of Team Taisan’s return to Super GT this season, in conjunction with SARD, and Mitsuyama was placed alongside rookie Yuya Motojima, the reigning champion of Super Taikyu’s ST-X class and Porsche Carrera Cup Japan.
The two finished eighth at the Fuji GT 300km Race to score Taisan’s first points of the year. But Mitsuyama has surprisingly struggled for pace all season, especially compared to his first-year teammate.
Mitsuyama has 89 career starts in 16 seasons in Super GT/JGTC’s GT300 category, four career victories, and seven total podiums. He won three races in 2002, driving the Vemac RD320R for R&D Sport, and finished 2nd in the championship that year with Shinsuke Shibahara.
He is also the founder of Adenau, a Tokyo-based tuning shop specializing in European luxury sports cars. Adenau runs a team in Super Taikyu ST-X, for whom Mitsuyama drives.
Ex-Formula 1 driver Shinji Nakano, who made his return to the series at the 45th International Suzuka 1000km with Team Taisan SARD, is expected to partner Motojima for the rest of the 2016 season.