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SRO, GTA Join Forces for 10-Hour Suzuka GT3/GT300 Enduro

SRO, GTA join forces for GT3/GT300 enduro at Suzuka…

Photo: SRO Motorsports Group

Photo: SRO Motorsports Group

The SRO Motorsports Group and Super GT series organizer GT Association will join together to hold the first joint GT3/GT300 race at Suzuka Circuit in 2018.

The event, organized by Mobilityland, will be a ten-hour endurance race held on Aug. 23-26, 2018, replacing the existing Suzuka 1000km round of the Super GT series which will run for the final time this year.

The Suzuka race will be the first time SRO GT3 and Super GT GT300 machinery have competed together, although SRO already oversees the Japanese class’ Balance of Performance.

“I am very excited to be here at Suzuka Circuit today to officially unveil the 47th Summer Endurance Suzuka 10 Hours,” commented Stephane Ratel, SRO founder and CEO.

“SRO fully supports this new project undertaken by Mobilityland. We are at a legendary circuit that is highly valued both in Europe and Asia. It is therefore a most appropriate platform to host a global GT race and write another chapter in the Suzuka Circuit’s long and valuable history.

“SRO will fully embrace the event by supporting champions from our numerous affiliated global categories and those teams currently competing in the European and Asian Blancpain GT Series to ensure that it flourishes and becomes a success.”

A schedule remains unconfirmed but the race is expected to run from 10:30 a.m. local time to 8:30 p.m.. A total prize fund of 100 million yen ($877,000 USD) has also been announced.

“Following the GT Association’s vision concept, this new project will constitute one more link and step into the globalization of the Super GT Series,” added Masaaki Bandoh, GT Association President.

“We are and will continue working close together in the effort of establishing this race in the calendar as one of the rounds that will unify the GT300 [class] in South East Asia.

“Concerning the new race format for the Suzuka round of the Super GT Series in 2018 and onwards we are determined to, together with Mobilityland, bring to the circuit and to the enthusiasts much new excitement and emotion.

“We are determined to provide the ultimate environment that continues to invite and satisfy the vast public and motorsports fans.”

It’s believed the new event is aimed to eventually replace the Sepang 12 Hours on the Intercontinental GT Challenge schedule, although Ratel has yet to comment on the matter.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist focusing on European series for Sportscar365. Kilshaw was the founder of WorldSportsCar.co.uk and is a member of the Autosport Academy. Contact Jake

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. FlyingLobster27

    March 4, 2017 at 6:24 am

    An interesting proposition, I’ve seen a couple of Super GT races live and the mix of GT3s and JAF GT300s is really cool, so 10 hours of it? Hell yeah!
    I guess that Ratel will want to integrate it into his IGTC project eventually. I didn’t see this coming, yet it’s already eons ahead of that other supposed tie-in between GT500 and the DTM.

  2. Morningview66

    March 4, 2017 at 9:29 am

    This should really be the Asian round of the Intercontinental GT challenge.
    Maybe that’s what Ratel is aiming for if Sepang continues to fail to attract entries.

    Shame it’s mid-season as might be hard to ship cars out and back.

  3. P

    March 4, 2017 at 10:04 am

    What’s going to happen to the GT500 cars?

    Will the Super GT do a smaller 500km race at Suzuka.

    • FlyingLobster27

      March 4, 2017 at 11:08 am

      There has been no announcement of this race counting towards any championship – be it SRO GT Asia, IGTC or Super GT.

      My opinion is that, if anything, this will be or become an SRO GT Asia Series and IGTC round. The Sepang 12 Hours have accepted JAF GT300 machines (like the apr V8 Prius), so this is a step in the same direction. I don’t think the Suzuka 10 Hours be on the Super GT calendar, their visit to Suzuka will probably change date altogether. Without points incentive, perhaps the prize money will attract GT300 teams, but as Morningview66 said, will it be enough to entice some European teams to ship their cars out to Japan a month after Spa?

    • Psychlops924

      March 4, 2017 at 11:09 am

      I read elsewhere that they are still planning on having a Super GT round at Suzuka during the summer, but I couldn’t find anything about when in summer or how long it would be.

  4. Hugo

    March 4, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Excuse my ignorance, but what, if any, is the difference between GT3 and GT300? I thought the latter class used GT3 regulations?

    • Psychlops924

      March 4, 2017 at 11:08 am

      GT300 includes GT3 cars as well as JAF (Japan Automobile Federation) GT cars that are not FIA homoligated. In 2016 this included a Subaru BRZ and a pair of Toyota Prius’s that used old Toyota LMP1 Hybrid engines. JAF GT also has ‘mother chasis’ cars that have the same chassis and a Nissan engine but different bodywork and suspension, which in 2016 included a Lotus Evora and a Toyota 86

      • Hugo

        March 4, 2017 at 11:57 am

        Thanks!

  5. Psychlops924

    March 4, 2017 at 11:21 am

    I first read this on a different site and it made it sound like Ratel was the one leading the charge. But here I find some differences. “The event, organized by Mobilityland…” and later on, Ratel says,”SRO fully supports this new project undertaken by Mobilityland” and “SRO will fully embrace the event”. Not terms I’d use if it were my idea. So before anyone jumps on Ratel for getting rid of the best Super GT race (which was my initial reaction), I think I have to point out that this was an idea some Japanese promoter had and SRO is just going with it.
    Along with that, I wouldn’t say it’s a foregone conclusion that this will be part of the IGTC. Should it be? Maybe. It’s a much more attractive location than Sepang, you already have a good sized field with GT300, and everyone knows how awful the Sepang 12 hour can be. But SRO has put a lot of time and money into creating and sustaining the Sepang race; when I read Ratel talk about it he seems very proud of how far it’s come. I just can’t see him abandoning it for a new event very easily.

    • NaBUru38

      March 4, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      There’s no need to remove the Sepang 12h.

      This is a GT3 only race, unlike Sepang 12h, Bathurst 12h or Creventic races.

      As you say, this is a Japanese project. And they contacted Ratel to make it international. This wont be a Super Taikyu grid. European pro drivers will be there.

  6. THE BIG FINS ON PROTOTYPES ARE UGLY

    March 4, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    cant wait until SRO makes the whole world a boring GT3 race

    GT500 is just DTM anyway

  7. THE BIG FINS ON PROTOTYPES ARE UGLY

    March 4, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Can’t wait until SRO makes the whole world a boring GT3 series

    GT500 is just DTM anyway

    • thomas

      March 5, 2017 at 1:12 am

      not yet it isn’t. The proposed convergance of DTM and SuperGT hasn’t actually happened yet. It keeps getting put off into the distance.

      • Helmut

        March 5, 2017 at 9:03 am

        It will never happen. DTM promotors have been talking of convergence and/or extensions for years (e.g. the US DTM) and nothing ever happened. In fact, the DTM is so boring the three German manufacturers have cut down to six cars each.

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