Tag Archives: kazuki nakajima

2019-20 Super GT Stove League: First Strike

It’s that time of year again in the Japanese auto racing season. The cars themselves are silent, but the discussion of the 2020 Autobacs Super GT Series to come is anything but. Welcome to another round of the domestic racing Stove League, the “Silly Season” by another name, the winter period where the pieces of the puzzle that is the 2020 Super GT field start to take shape.

Baseball’s own Stove League is already at full burn, where teams negotiate trades and attempt to sign high-dollar free agents. After battling for Major League Baseball’s World Series, ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg just signed a record-breaking deal to remain with the championship-winning Washington Nationals. Days later, his rival from the Houston Astros, Gerrit Cole, eclipsed Strasbourg’s deal with his own record-setting contract upon joining the New York Yankees.

In Super GT, the money is never a talking point, rather the arrangement of the teams and drivers representing the big three manufacturers in GT500: Toyota, Honda, and Nissan. Drivers changing teams, young drivers stepping up from GT300 or stepping in from elsewhere, and old veterans fighting to keep their places in the most competitive class in sports car racing.

Using the information from the latest issue of auto sport Magazine (Volume 1521: “Solving the Mystery of 51 Seats”), as well as the reporting from Motorsport.com contributors such as Jamie Klein, here is Super GT World’s guide to how the GT500 field might look in 2020 – and it starts with the biggest story of the off-season to date.

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Kobayashi fastest in Super Formula tests; Chiyo lands B-Max Honda drive

On Monday and Tuesday, the Japanese Super Formula Championship ran two days of pre-season testing at Suzuka Circuit, in preparation for the 2018 season which starts at the same venue on April 21-22.

Kamui Kobayashi, driving for carrozeria Team KCMG/Toyota, recorded the fastest lap of the two-day test before departing for France to test in the FIA World Endurance Championship for Toyota Gazoo Racing. Rookie Nobuharu Matsushita led the second day of testing for DoCoMo Team Dandelion Racing/Honda.

During the test, one of the last two seats on the grid were filled, as B-Max Racing Team selected Katsumasa Chiyo to drive the #50 car, under the guidance of new team principal, and four-time Japanese Top Formula champion, Satoshi Motoyama.

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Hirakawa, Rossiter return to Super Formula with Toyota

Catching up with the Japanese Super Formula Championship, as part of Toyota Gazoo Racing’s 2018 motorsport activities announcement, Toyota confirmed 10 of their 11 drivers for the upcoming Super Formula campaign.

Two-time and defending Super Formula champion Hiroaki Ishiura will lead the charge for Toyota in 2018, with Ryo Hirakawa returning to the series after a two-year absence for Itochu Enex Team Impul, and James Rossiter returning full-time to replace the retired AndrĂ© Lotterer at Vantelin Team TOM’s.

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WEC calendar re-alignment results in second Super GT date clash

Friday’s announcement of the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans roster also came with the additional announcement that the historic 6 Hours of Fuji has been moved up one week to the weekend of October 13-14, 2018.

With the announcement, there are now two irreconcilable clashes of dates between the WEC and the Autobacs Super GT Series, which is set to host its penultimate round on the same weekend of October 14 at the Autopolis circuit in Oita Prefecture.

Continue reading WEC calendar re-alignment results in second Super GT date clash