Tag Archives: Katsuyuki Hiranaka

The Big Names in the Fuji Super TEC 24 Hours

This week’s Fuji SUPER TEC 24 Hours is the premier race on the calendar for the pro-am Pirelli Super Taikyu Series, one of the most diverse endurance racing categories in the world – featuring GT3, GT4, and TCR touring cars mixed with a wide collection of race-tuned production cars.

Super Taikyu is not a full professional series like the GT500 class of Super GT, or Super Formula, but in this race there are many accomplished racing drivers who have achieved stardom both in Japan and abroad. Even some of the less-heralded gentleman drivers have earned a great deal of respect for their contributions inside and outside of motorsport.

At Super GT World, we’ve broken down the entire entry list and highlighted the top teams from the top three classes, and the big-name drivers competing in the lower categories, to help you find a team to support in this weekend’s landmark endurance event.

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Nissan announces 2018 Super GT programmes

On Monday, Nissan and NISMO (Nissan Motorsports) announced their global motorsports plans for 2018, including their team and driver lineups for the 2018 Autobacs Super GT Series.

Nissan enters four Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500s, aiming to recapture the championships it won in 2014 and 2015. Nissan won five out of eight races in 2016 and missed the 2017 title by a mere 2 points. They will also enter GT300 with two newly evolved 2018-spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s and two of the previous 2015-spec GT-R GT3s.

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Gainer and Nissan forge full-scale partnership in 2018

In the past two decades, the Kyoto-based Gainer team have competed in the GT300 class of Super GT with manufacturers such as Ferrari, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz.

But in 2018, after three years splitting their garage between Mercedes and Nissan, Gainer and Nissan will commit to a full-scale partnership, with Gainer fielding two brand-new, 2018-spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s in the Autobacs Super GT Series.

The team have also strengthened their driver lineup with the addition of nine-year GT500 veteran Hironobu Yasuda from Team Impul, and two-time GT300 champion Kazuki Hoshino from NDDP Racing, to partner returning drivers Katsuyuki Hiranaka and Hiroki Yoshida.

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Gainer Mercedes-AMG charges through the pack to win at Sugo

With the right combination of determined driving, a little luck, and the right tyres for the conditions on the road, the #11 Gainer Tanax Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Katsuyuki Hiranaka and Bj√∂rn Wirdheim was able to dig deep, and come back from starting 17th on the grid in Sunday’s Sugo GT 300km Race at Sportsland SUGO to win the GT300 class.

The GT300 race was one that saw a number of incidents in predominantly wet conditions, and the chaos of three Safety Car interventions during the race helped create a surprise runner-up in the #50 INGING & Arnage Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 of Akihiro Tsuzuki and Morio Nitta, who finished second ahead of the GT300 Championship leaders, the #25 VivaC Toyota 86 MC of Takamitsu Matsui & Kenta Yamashita.

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