Buriram United Super GT Race Preview: GT500 – Long Live the King

The penultimate race meeting of the 2016 Autobacs Super GT Series takes the fastest GT racing cars in the world to the kingdom of Thailand, to the town of Buriram and its still-new, state-of-the-art racing facility – the Chang International Circuit.

Super GT’s only race outside of Japan will be held in Buriram for the third successive year, and if the two previous runnings of this event are any indication, this race will be filled with moments of high drama and excitement throughout all 66 laps around this 4.554 kilometer circuit.

The hottest temperatures of any race on the calendar will put every driver through their physical rigours like no other here in Thailand – and that intensity will only be ratcheted up further, with this race marking the start of final three-race run towards the GT500 championship, before the two-race Grand Final at Twin Ring Motegi in November.

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Tsuchiya to stand down from full-time racing; Matsui, Yamashita to drive VivaC 86 in ’17

VivaC Team Samurai lead driver and team director, Takeshi Tsuchiya, will no longer be driving full-time for his organization after the conclusion of the 2016 Autobacs Super GT Series.

In an interview with Ryuji Hirano of AUTOSPORTweb, Tsuchiya was quoted as saying that he is stepping down from his full-time driving duties, in order to focus on the engineering and management side of the organization, while making room for the younger generation of drivers.

Staying true to that theme, Tsuchiya announced that Takamitsu Matsui and Kenta Yamashita will drive the #25 VivaC Toyota 86 MC full-time next season.

Continue reading Tsuchiya to stand down from full-time racing; Matsui, Yamashita to drive VivaC 86 in ’17

#30 apr Prius without hybrid system in Thailand

The #30 apr Racing Toyota Prius GT of Kota Sasaki and Hiroaki Nagai will race in next weekend’s Buriram United Super GT Race at Chang International Circuit in Thailand, but without their hybrid system.

Due to the fact that the car’s lithium ion battery cannot be shipped from Japan to Thailand, the car will simply run without the hybrid system that provides additional power to the car’s 3.4 liter V8 engine. To offset the weight of the missing hybrid system, the car will run an additional 35 kilograms of ballast as a Balance of Performance (BoP) adjustment.

However their sister car, the #31 Prius of Koki Saga and Yuichi Nakayama, will be able to use its capacitor-based hybrid powertrain in Thailand.

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Daytona meets Suzuka: The Mooncraft Shiden RT-16

This weekend marks the end of an era for American sports car racing, as after thirteen years of service in IMSA, and its predecessor Grand-Am, the Daytona Prototype category will be retired following this weekend’s Petit Le Mans endurance race at Road Atlanta. Some will look back at these tubeframe, V8-engined prototypes with less fond memories than others, but to deny their historical significance in the highest levels of North American road racing would be a great disservice.

It is the pending farewell to the Daytona Prototypes that brings us to look back at a car that was, in essence, a Daytona Prototype repurposed for Super GT – and a car that became one of the most controversial, yet revered challengers in GT300 history: The Mooncraft Shiden RT-16.

Continue reading Daytona meets Suzuka: The Mooncraft Shiden RT-16

News, analysis, and commentary about the Super GT Series.