Last Friday, GT Association (GTA) chairman Masaaki Bandoh was presented with one of the most coveted awards in the Japanese automotive and motorsport industry, the ASEA (Autosports & Special Equipment Association) Award, at an awards ceremony held in Chiba.
Bandoh was presented the 2016 ASEA Award for his work as the chairman and promoter of the Autobacs Super GT Series, which under Bandoh’s leadership, has become the most popular, highest-attended, and highest-ranked national racing series in Japan over the past decade.
Since 1986, the ASEA presents its ASEA AWARD to those who have made exceptional contributions to Japanese motor sports. The ASEA is part of the Nippon Auto Parts Aftermarket Committee (NAPAC), headed up by TOM’s Racing founder Nobuhide Tachi, and the ASEA Award is presented at the NAPAC’s New Year’s Gathering.
Bandoh, the founder of top Super GT team Racing Project BANDOH, took over as the chairman of Super GT in 2007, and along with the “big three” Japanese manufacturers Toyota, Honda, and Nissan, set up the current GT Association as the governing body of the series in 2008.
Since then, the series has seen steady growth in terms of attendance, exposure, and participation, peaking in 2016 with the most spectators and largest field of entries to date.
During his remarks in accepting the coveted ASEA Award, Bandoh also took time to reflect upon the initiatives that the GT Association have made to enrich the technological side of the series, specifically the launch of the Mother Chassis project in 2014, which allows Japanese garages to add their own innovative ideas and promote the practice of Japanese product creation and craftsmanship, or “Monozukuri.”
He then pledged to continue his work and further develop the Super GT Series as the number one racing series in Japan.