Issue number 1451 of auto sport Magazine will be released on Friday, March 3, primarily featuring the 2017 Formula 1 car launches and pre-season testing – but the latest issue of the magazine will also feature a story on the potential for a GT500 return for one of Super GT’s most successful teams.
Two-time GT500 champion team and celebrated racing constructor, Dome, are planning to return to the premier class of Super GT next season, either as a sixth team for Honda or a replacement to an existing team in the fleet.
Dome Racing’s last association with Honda lasted from 1997 to 2014. Having designed the original Honda NSX-GT in ’97, they were designated as the “flagship” Honda GT500 team for eighteen seasons.
From ’97 until 2003, they formed the Mugen x Dome Project with Team Mugen – who will return to GT500 this season as a separate team – and together they won the 2000 GT500 championship.
Dome then spent the next decade as a standalone entity, capturing the 2010 GT500 championship in the debut year of the front-engined HSV-010. In total, Dome Racing and the Mugen x Dome Project won eighteen races, the third-most all-time in Super GT history, from 1997 to 2014.
They withdrew as a team after the 2014 season, to focus on car construction – leading projects such as the championship-winning GT300 Mother Chassis, the Dome F110 chassis for the FIA F4 Japanese Championship, and other racing ventures such as the Strakka/Dome S103 prototype for the World Endurance Championship.
Dome’s entry was replaced in 2015 by the Drago Modulo Honda Racing team led by former Dome driver Ryo Michigami, but after two seasons, they suspended operations in Super GT, and were replaced by Mugen in advance of the 2017 season.
Now it seems that Dome Racing are ready to return to Super GT as soon as next season, as either a fifth or sixth GT500 team out of the Honda stable. Should they return to replace an existing team, it is unclear which of the five existing teams would be phased out.
The news comes at the same time that Honda and Dome Racing announced plans to enter the Super Taikyu Endurance Series in 2017, with two Honda Civic TCRs in the new ST-R category for TCR International touring cars.
The two Civics will join the new Audi RS3 LMS of Birth Racing Project on the ST-R grid – giving the new class decent participation, especially considering that it was only added to the Super Taikyu series in January.