On Wednesday, the Autobacs Super GT Series announced which of the three C-Seed teams in GT300 will be automatically entered for the 43rd and final entry at the upcoming Sugo GT 300km Race at Sportsland SUGO on July 23rd.
That final spot on the grid for Round 4 was granted to the #60 Syntium LM Corsa Lexus RC F GT3 of Akira Iida and Hiroki Yoshimoto, thanks to an impressive run of results to start the 2017 season – including a breakthrough 8th place finish at the Fuji GT 500km Race in May.
This off-season, Super GT introduced a new seeding arrangement that would determine which of its teams is able to enter each round of the championship. This new seeding system was only going to affect Round 4 at Sportsland SUGO, and Round 7 at Buriram United International Circuit, which do not have enough garage capacity to hold all 45 registered full-season entries.
Due to their lack of tenure or significant results in 2016, the #60 Syntium LM Corsa RC F GT3, as well as the #22 R’Qs Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (Hisashi Wada/Masaki Jyonai) and the #117 EIcars Bentley Continental GT3 (Yuji Ide/Ryohei Sakaguchi) were all grouped into the “C” category at the start of the season, and were not guaranteed entry into all rounds of the championship – regardless of the Syntium crew’s stature as a full-on factory supported effort through Toyota and Lexus.
After scoring an 8th place finish at Fuji, as well as a 12th place finish at Autopolis, the #60 Syntium RC F will indeed race at Sugo for the first part of Super GT’s Summer Series, leading the C-Seeded teams with 10 points in the GT300 Teams’ Championship – compared to 5 for the EIcars Bentley and 3 for the R’Qs SLS.
With their sister team, the #51 JMS P.MU LM Corsa RC F GT3 (Yuichi Nakayama/Sho Tsuboi) having already won at the Fuji 500km, and second in the GT300 Championship standings, the new 2017 Lexus RC F GT3 is already proving a capable car on merit in GT300 – and it will be a much-deserved relief for the #60 team to be able to run all of the rounds in Japan.
As for the R’Qs SLS and the EIcars Bentley, they will be listed as reserve entries for the event, in case another team is forced to withdraw.
The entry list for the Buriram Super GT Race in October will be capped at 40 cars – though we know that several of the smaller teams in GT300 may elect not to travel to Thailand, including EIcars Bentley TTO which stated their intentions to bypass the Thai round before the season started.