The second GT300 team to formally confirm their 2017 Autobacs Super GT Series entry, K2 R&D LEON Racing announced Wednesday morning that they will switch to Bridgestone tyres for the upcoming season.
LEON Racing also announced that drivers Haruki Kurosawa and Naoya Gamou will return to pilot the #65 LEON Cvstos Mercedes-AMG GT3 for a third consecutive season.
The matte black livery of the LEON Cvstos AMG, and the driver lineup remain unchanged from 2016, but the big difference will come as LEON Racing switch from Yokohama to Bridgestone after four years.
In 2016, Bridgestone supplied only two teams in the GT300 class: The #31 apr Toyota Prius GT, and the #55 Autobacs Racing Team Aguri BMW M6 GT3.
Thus, Mercedes-AMG’s three biggest customers in GT300 will now run three different brands of tyre, as Goodsmile Racing with Team UKYO renewed with Yokohama for 2017, and Gainer are expected to do the same with Dunlop.
Men’s lifestyle magazine LEON returns as the title sponsor, with Swiss watchmaker Cvstos also on board as a prominent sponsor.
Kurosawa and Gamou are coming off their best season as a driver pairing in the LEON AMG, driving K2 R&D LEON Racing to their first ever victory in the season-opener at Okayama International Circuit.
Kurosawa, 39, was the runner-up in the 2005 GT300 championship with M-TEC (Team Mugen), and surpassed 100 career races in 2016. He has been driving for LEON Racing since they were founded in 2013. His father Motoharu was the inaugural champion of what is now Super Formula in 1973, and his older brother Takuya is a former GT500 race winner.
Gamou, 27, will enter his third full season at K2 R&D LEON Racing. He also drives for Toyota Gazoo Racing in the Super Taikyu Endurance Series, and in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, where he was an SP-3 class champion in 2014.
The 2017 LEON Cvstos AMG-GT3 will be on display in the Bridgestone Motorsport booth at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, from January 13 to 15.