The 46th International Suzuka 1000km: The Final is already receiving a boost from some high-profile ex-Formula 1 drivers running this race – headlined by Jenson Button, the 2009 Formula 1 World Drivers’ Champion, and Kamui Kobayashi, one of only three Japanese drivers to stand on a Grand Prix podium, both making their Autobacs Super GT Series debuts.
Add one more ex-Formula 1 talent to the list for Suzuka: Christian Klien, ex-Jaguar and Red Bull driver, will join Team Taisan SARD as their third driver alongside Shinnosuke Yamada and Jake Parsons in the #26 Taisan SARD Audi R8 LMS Fukushima, for the sixth round of the 2017 Super GT series.
The Austrian driver, who entered 51 F1 Grands Prix from 2004 to 2010 with Jaguar, Red Bull, and HRT – in addition to test driver roles with Honda and BMW Sauber – will make his second career Super GT appearance, having first driven with Lexus Team SARD in the 2015 Suzuka 1000km.
Since his last Super GT appearance, Klien has been involved with Emil Frey Racing’s Blancpain GT Series project with Jaguar, while also working with ORF Sport in Austria as a Formula 1 commentator.
It’s been a difficult second year for Team Taisan SARD. Yamada and Australian rookie Parsons have so far only been able to finish as high as 14th in the most recent race at Autopolis. Neither driver has scored points in the 2017 Drivers’ Championship, and Team Taisan SARD are currently 20th in the Teams’ Championship.
Klien will be at the Official Test at Suzuka Circuit on June 30 & July 1 to prepare for the race – and we can expect more third driver announcements for Suzuka to be confirmed in the weeks and months to come!