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Toyota Confirms GT500 Lineups for Supra’s Debut Season

WEC drivers Kenta Yamashita, Kazuki Nakajima leave as Toyota updates its GT500 roster…

Photo: Toyota

Toyota has confirmed its driver lineups for the 2020 Japanese Super GT Championship, which will mark the first campaign for the manufacturer’s GR Supra GT500 car.

Reigning co-champion Kenta Yamashita will not return to defend his title with Kazuya Oshima, who will have a new co-driver at Team LeMans in Sho Tsuboi.

Tsuboi moves over from Team WedsSport Bandoh, which has brought in 20-year-old Japanese Formula 3 runner-up Ritomo Miyata for his full-season debut.

Miyata made one appearance in last year’s Super GT series, subbing in for Kazuki Nakajima at the first Fuji race which clashed with the Six Hours of Spa FIA World Endurance Championship round.

Double 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Nakajima will not return to Toyota’s GT500 lineup, although the 35-year-old – who contested the previous three seasons – will continue to race in Super Formula.

His seat alongside Yuhi Sekiguchi in the Team au Tom’s car will be taken up by reigning Japanese Formula 3 champion Sacha Fenestraz, who raced in the GT300 ranks of Super GT last season.

The three remaining driver lineups are all unchanged from the previous campaign, which saw Toyota (then Lexus) take six victories across the eight races held.

The second Tom’s Supra will be driven by 2019 runners-up Ryo Hirakawa and Nick Cassidy, while Team SARD will again field Yuichi Nakayama and ex-Formula 1 driver Heikki Kovalainen.

Team Cerumo, meanwhile, has retained Hiroaki Ishiura and Yuji Tachikawa.

Toyota is the third of three GT500 manufacturers to confirm 2020 driver lineups after Nissan and Honda did so last month. The new season begins at Okayama on Apr. 11-12.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

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