A number of Japanese teams took part in a two-day test at Suzuka this week, in preparation for the Suzuka 10 Hours in August.
The iconic Formula 1 circuit will host the third round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge on Aug. 24-26, with a large contingent of Asian-based teams expected alongside full-season entries.
While the D’station Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R topped the time charts on Thursday, the focus of the test was on teams’ sampling Pirelli’s new-for-2018 P Zero DHD2 tire compound.
Audi Sport Team Hitotsuyama, which saw Richard Lyons and reigning IGTC champion Markus Winkelhock at the wheel, paced Wednesday’s running in wet conditions.
The test marked Winkelhock’s first trip to Japan.
“This week has been about helping the team understand the new tire, which we’ve been using in Europe since the start of the year, so they have some data to work with before the 10 Hours,” he said.
“Suzuka is a tough circuit that puts a lot of load through the tires but I was surprised how well they stood up over a long run.”
Other teams in attendance included Goodsmile Racing & Team Ukyo, which brought its Mercedes-AMG GT3, as well as several JAF GT300-spec cars, which will be eligible alongside GT3s in the race.