FIST – Team AAI has become the latest team to commit to the Suzuka 10 Hours, with the Taiwanese squad confirming a BMW M6 GT3 entry for the third round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.
The reigning Asian Le Mans Series GT class champions join a growing list of competitors set to take part in the Aug. 24-26 event, including factory or works-supported entries from Audi, Bentley, Honda, Mercedes-AMG, Nissan, Porsche and Toyota.
The team’s driver lineup has yet to be announced.
“It has been more than a decade since FIST – Team AAI raced at Suzuka so I think our return is long overdue,” said team representative Patrick Hsu.
“We’re delighted to have an opportunity to compete at such a legendary circuit, and especially in an event as prestigious as the Suzuka 10 Hours.
“The entry list already looks very strong and we can’t wait to test ourselves against some of the world’s top GT3 teams and drivers.
“Clearly Mobilityland, GTA and SRO have done a great job to assemble such an impressive entry list.”
The event, jointly organized by SRO Motorsports Group, Super GT promoter GTA and Mobilityland Corporation, will see FIA GT3-spec cars go head-to-head with JAF GT300-spec machinery and other local entries.
A prize fund of 100 million Yen ($928,000 USD) has been established for the race, which takes the place of the Suzuka 1000km.
Asian Le Mans Series Return Unclear
While committing to SRO’s new race, the team’s future participation in the ALMS remains unclear, following comments from team owner Junsan Chen on his Facebook page.
Chen voiced his displeasure regarding the ACO’s entry procedure for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, claiming they were given just one day to confirm its entries for the French endurance classic.
The team received two auto-invites to this year’s race, courtesy of finishing 1-2 in the GT championship, although AAI elected not to accept the entries, due to the short notice to find the necessary budgets, according to Chen.
In his post, which has since been deleted, Chen wrote that the team will not return to ALMS competition.
AAI had been a staple of the series in recent years, having fielded two of the three full-season entries in GT in the 2017-18 season.