For 2017, the Autobacs Super GT Series scrapped the Free Practice session on the morning of each race in favour of an opening ceremony at every round – which includes a driver introduction ceremony – not unlike the ones also seen in NASCAR, the Indianapolis 500, or the Bathurst 1000.
It’s a neat addition to the fanfare and pageantry of each Super GT event. And as some teams demonstrated during the Fuji GT 500km Race, it’s also perfect for creating comedic moments.
Dijon Racing did it the best, honestly. Complete with matching Shokumou GT-R t-shirts, Hiroshi Takamori, Masaki Tanaka, and Taiyou Iida were the embodiment of #SquadGoals.
What they lacked in outright speed during the Fuji 500km, Dijon Racing more than made up for as their popularity continues to grow during the season – and for posing that would make Hirohiko Araki proud.
Speaking of Araki-esque posing, one team that’s having just the right amount of fun is the #31 Toyota Prius apr GT duo of Koki Saga and Rintaro Kubo.
They’ve got the wannabe superhero stable aesthetic down already in just two races.
Something seems off about this photo of Yuhi Sekiguchi and Kenta Yamashita – who totally isn’t Juichi Wakisaka, Sekiguchi’s former co-driver, and now the team director of Lexus Team Wako’s LeMans. 🤔🤔🤔
Nojiri-san peers into the soul of the viewer, as if to convey through facial expressions alone, “Please, just let our car start the race.”
(It did. And they finished 9th.)
Shinya Hosokawa is done with these punk kids (Kimiya Sato & Yuya Motojima) pulling pranks on him every single day!!!
(As it turns out, they worked together to finish 4th – the best result for the #87 JLOC team in three years.)
A good personal training regimen and hours of simulator driving is great preparation for a Super GT rookie like Ryosei Yamashita, but no training programme is complete until your co-drivers punch you in the gut simultaneously in the paddock.
Super GT would be wise to put these introductions on their official YouTube channel (as well as drop the paywalls for their mobile live timing services, offer said live timing for desktop users, stream practice from their YouTube channel, among many other things to be quite honest).
If only because they’re silly and enjoyable and part of what makes the series fun this year.