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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Audi Announces Suzuka 10H Driver Lineups

Audi confirms drivers across three entries for IGTC round at Suzuka…

Photo: Audi

Audi has confirmed the driver lineups of its three Pro-class cars entered into the Suzuka 10 Hours round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, which takes place in August.

Audi Sport Team Absolute, Audi Sport Team WRT and Audi Team Hitotsuyama will once again represent the German manufacturer in the penultimate round of the SRO-sanctioned championship.

Nine of the drivers that formed part of Audi’s Pro lineup for last year’s race have been retained, although Kelvin van der Linde and Christopher Mies have switched teams.

Van der Linde will slot into the WRT-entered Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo alongside fellow works drivers Dries Vantoor and Frederic Vervisch, while Mies will partner Christopher Haase and Markus Winkelhock in the Absolute entry.

Mies, Haase and Winkelhock are now set for their second appearance as a trio after sharing an Audi in the season-opening Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

The crew was split up for the most recent round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, with Mies and Winkelhock partnering Kelvin van der Linde at Audi Sport Team Land.

Van der Linde, who finished third at Suzuka last year with Haase and Winkelhock, is set for his fourth career appearance in WRT colors.

The Audi lineup is completed by the Japanese Hitotsuyama squad which is entering its home race with an Audi R8 LMS GT3 for Richard Lyons, Alessio Picariello and Ryuichiro Tomita.

Lyons and Tomita co-drive Team Hitotsuyama’s GT300-class Audi in the Japanese Super GT series, which is joining the full IGTC field at Suzuka, while Picariello currently competes in Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia.

The same lineup finished eighth overall in the 2019 Suzuka 10 Hours, with all three drivers set for their first IGTC outings of the season.

Five Audis contested the Suzuka race last year with Absolute and WRT running an extra car each, while three have been named on the entry list for the upcoming edition.

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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