Welcome to the Day Zero Notebook of the first official pre-season Super GT test at Okayama International Circuit. As the teams arrived for two days of testing this weekend at the 3.7 kilometer circuit, there were a few stories of note, including the unveiling of a new safety car and some new liveries for teams up and down the paddock.
Honda NSX becomes new Super GT Safety Car
The all-new Honda NSX will serve as the official Safety Car of the Autobacs Super GT Series starting in 2017. It replaces the Lexus RC F, which served from 2015 to 2016.
Powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5 litre V6 engine with a battery-driven hybrid SH-AWD powertrain producing 572 horsepower, the all-wheel drive NSX is equipped to handle the role of pacing the Super GT field at every round this season. It will be exhibited at every round during the public pit walk session.
Gainer Nissan GT-R picks up a new sponsor
triple a Publishing Company have joined Gainer as a secondary sponsor of what is now officially the #10 Gainer Tanax triple a GT-R of Ryuichiro Tomita and Hiroki Yoshida.
The entertainment company, which owns the Dechau pachinko & slot parlor among many other establishments, sponsored the #87 JLOC Lamborghini Huracán GT3 last season.
New colours for Mooncraft Lotus MC…
Mooncraft Engineering’s Lotus Evora MC will carry a new colour scheme for 2017.
Kazuho Takahashi and Hiroki Katoh will pilot the #2 Syntium Apple Lotus for Cars Tokai Dream28, which is now in a new “gun metallic” base colour with dashes of Petronas Blue.
…and for Audi Team Hitotsuyama
Audi Team Hitotsuyama revealed their new livery this past Saturday, which takes to the track for the first time this weekend.
The #21 Audi R8 LMS of Richard Lyons and Masataka Yanagida will be predominantly light grey, in unity with the similar colours of Audi Team WRT in Europe.
Works livery for EIcars Bentley
The #117 EIcars Bentley Continental GT3 also showed off its colours for the first time, and it will be adorned with the distinct white and green Bentley Motorsport “works” livery.
Yuji Ide and Ryohei Sakaguchi will see the Continental GT3 through its debut Super GT campaign this season.
INGING & Arnage go with Ferrari
As expected, the newly-aligned INGING & Arnage Racing will contest the 2017 Super GT season with a Ferrari 488 GT3.
Drivers Morio Nitta and Akihiro Tsuzuki drove the car last year for LM Corsa, and now move over to INGING & Arnage with the very same turbocharged Ferrari.
Go to AUTOSPORTweb and check out Ryuji Hirano’s gallery of the 2017 cars as they prepare to go out for the first official testing day on Saturday – you’ll be glad you did.