The Asian Le Mans Series has announced that Suzuka Circuit will host a round of the championship for the first time at the start of the 2020-21 season.
The Japanese Grand Prix venue is set to take up the Nov. 20-22 slot on the calendar putting it at the head of the schedule.
This effectively sets it in the place of Shanghai International Circuit which has hosted the previous two season-openers, however the full calendar has yet to be confirmed.
Series managing director Cyrille Taesch Wahlen hinted earlier this year that expansion from four to five races could be on the table in the near future.
Suzuka will be the third Japanese circuit to host a round, after Fuji Speedway and Okayama, and the second to kick off a season after the former in 2015.
The championship visited Fuji for a four-hour race in 2018-19 but dropped its Japanese round for the current 2019-20 season in favor of a round at The Bend in Australia.
In terms of sports car racing, Suzuka currently hosts Super GT, GT World Challenge Asia and Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli among other series.
“We wanted to go back to Japan and being able to do so within the context of our next year’s season-opening round, and for the first time at Suzuka, is extremely satisfying and exciting,” said Taecsh Wahlen.
“The attractiveness of such a legendary track, combined with the constant growth of the Asian Le Mans Series should create a momentous event.”
President of Suzuka owner Mobilityland, Kaoru Tanaka, added: “I am very pleased that the Asian Le Mans Series will be held for the first time at Suzuka Circuit.
“This decision will further strengthen the relationship between Le Mans and Suzuka Circuit that have concluded a friendship agreement.
“We will continue to deepen exchanges and cooperation with the ACO so that we can continue to contribute to the development of motorsport in Japan and Asia.”