Several teams have already confirmed their participation in this year’s Suzuka 10 Hours, which once again stages Asia’s round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli on Aug. 21-23.
The 49th Summer Endurance Race’s entry process opened on February 1 just as the nine full-season manufacturers contesting the world’s only global GT3 series prepared for Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour qualifying.
As revealed by Sportscar365, Triple Eight, which finished third overall on home soil in Australia, are also traveling to Japan later this year when the team’s 2020-spec Mercedes-AMG will be run in partnership with Johor Racing, just as it is in GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS.
Its full-season drivers, Prince Jefri Ibrahim and Supercars ace Shane van Gisbergen, are both expected to feature at Suzuka.
Four Japanese teams have also confirmed their plans.
The crowd favorite Goodsmile Racing Mercedes shared by Super GT front-runners Nobuteru Taniguchi and Tatsuya Kataoka as well as international sport scar star Kamui Kobayashi returns for a third successive year along with GT300 rivals LM Corsa, whose Porsche raced at Suzuka last August.
Another 911 GT3 R, this time entered by GT World Challenge Asia squad ARN Racing, also features amongst the initial batch of regional confirmations. All are eligible to score Intercontinental points for their respective manufacturer, subject to nomination.
Tairoku Racing with B-Max Engineering have also confirmed their participation with Nissan. The driver line-up features team owner Tairoku Yamaguchi and three-time Super GT500 champion Satoshi Motoyama.
Meanwhile, the event’s 100 million yen ($867,000 USD) prize fund remains unchanged for 2020, with the overall winning entry awarded 30 million yen ($273,000 USD).
The top-three Overall, Pro/Am, Silver Cup, Am Cup, Asian, Super GT and Super Taikyu entries will also receive a share of the prize money.
IGTC’s nine full-season manufacturers – Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Honda, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche – will all be there along with several other marques contesting Japan’s domestic Super GT and Super Taikyu championships.
Thirteen different manufacturers raced at Suzuka in 2019, while 27 of the 36-strong entry received IGTC nominations.
Suzuka represents the halfway stage of this year’s globe-trotting IGTC season, which began at Bathurst earlier this month.