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Honda, Nissan Confirm 2020 GT500 Lineups

Honda and Nissan each make driver lineup changes for the 2020 Super GT season…

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Honda and Nissan have announced their full GT500 driver lineups for the 2020 Super GT season.

Both manufacturers’ rosters for the top category were announced on Friday with squad adjustments being made in both camps.

Honda has rotated its lineup to reflect the departures of Narain Karthikeyan, Daisuke Nakajima and 2018 champion Jenson Button.

Team Kunimitsu, which Button was a member of for two seasons, will field the 2009 Formula 1 champion’s former co-driver Naoki Yamamoto alongside Tadasuke Makino, who drove for Nakajima Racing last term.

The Nakajima team will feature an all-new pairing as Takuya Izawa moves across after two seasons with ARTA while Hiroki Otsu joins for his debut campaign.

Izawa, who partnered Tomoki Nojiri in 2019, raced for Nakajima in Super Formula last year.

Nojiri will stay with ARTA (pictured) to contest the new season with a new teammate in reigning GT300 class champion and Formula 2 competitor Nirei Fukuzumi.

Honda’s third new driver is Ukyo Sasahara, who helped guide team Japan to gold in the FIA Motorsport Games GT Cup event in November.

The 23-year-old Asian F3 champion will share Team Mugen’s car with the returning Hideki Mutoh, effectively replacing series veteran Nakajima who announced his retirement late last year.

Rossiter, Makowiecki Leave Nissan

European drivers James Rossiter and Frederic Makowiecki have left Nissan’s GT500 squad, which has continued as an eight-man, four-car setup for 2020.

Former Lexus driver Rossiter departs Super GT after one season with Nissan, while Makowiecki is taking up a full-time role with Porsche in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship to end his brief comeback to the championship after a single year.

2015 GT500 runner-up Katsumasa Chiyo will take up Makowiecki’s place at NDDP Racing alongside Kohei Hirate while Rossiter’s former seat at  Team Impul has gone to Kazuki Hiramine, who graduates from GT300.

The two other Nissan crews are unchanged with the established pairing of  Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli returning to Team Mugen, and Jann Mardenborough and Mitsunori Takaboshi continuing with Kondo Racing.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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