On Monday, the GT Association (GTA), promoter of the Autobacs Super GT Series, released the entry list for the sixth round of the 2018 season, the Sugo GT 300km Race at Sportsland SUGO.
A 43-car grid will be present as Sugo celebrates its twenty-fifth consecutive season on the Super GT calendar, with the 15 GT500 cars joined by a field of 28 GT300 cars.
Of the 15 cars in the GT500 field, only six are not carrying any fuel flow restrictors as part of their Success Ballast at Sugo.
Championship leaders Ryo Hirakawa and Nick Cassidy in the #1 KeePer TOM’s Lexus LC500 will be the only squad carrying the “Stage 3” fuel-flow limiter, with their maximum fuel flow rate reduced down to 85.5 kilograms per hour. They’ll also carry an additional 44 kilos of physical ballast.
There are then seven teams carrying the “Stage 2” fuel-flow limiter (88.6 kg/h): The #36 au TOM’s LC500 (Kazuki Nakajima/Yuhi Sekiguchi), the #100 Raybrig Honda NSX-GT (Naoki Yamamoto/Jenson Button), the #17 Keihin NSX-GT (Koudai Tsukakoshi/Takashi Kogure), the #39 Denso Kobelco SARD LC500 (Heikki Kovalainen/Kamui Kobayashi), the #23 Motul Autech NISMO GT-R (Tsugio Matsuda/Ronnie Quintarelli), the #8 ARTA NSX-GT (Tomoki Nojiri/Takuya Izawa), and the #6 Wako’s 4CR LC500 (Kazuya Oshima/Felix Rosenqvist).
There are no driver changes.
In GT300, just 28 cars will enter this week’s race. The race for the 28th and final grid slot was won by the #2 Syntium Apple Lotus Evora MC (Kazuho Takahashi/Hiroki Katoh), which edged out the #777 CarGuy ADA Honda NSX GT3 for the last grid position based on their Teams’ Championship results: 9 points for the #2 Syntium Lotus versus 8 for the #777 CarGuy NSX, which misses its second race of 2018 after voluntarily sitting out of the Buriram race.
Two-time GT300 Drivers’ Champion Manabu Orido is back in the #30 Toyota Prius apr GT, replacing Kota Sasaki for this race – and potentially seeing out the rest of the 2018 season alongside Hiroaki Nagai. Orido made his first start of the 2018 Super GT season with the team at the Fuji 500 Mile Race, but retired early in the race.
And returning to action for his first race of 2018 is popular gentleman racer Hiroshi Takamori, driving the #48 Shokumou.jp Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 for Dijon Racing alongside Masaki Tanaka.
All the other teams will revert to their standard two-driver lineups for this race, including the championship-leading #55 ARTA BMW M6 GT3 of Shinichi Takagi and Sean Walkinshaw, carrying the maximum 100 kilograms of Success Ballast for Sugo.