Alessio Picariello is set to take part in next month’s Suzuka 10 Hours with Audi Team Hitotsuyama, replacing Markus Winkelhock in the lineup for the third round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge season.
The reigning Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup champion will team up with Super GT regulars Richard Lyons and Ryuichiro Tomita in the No. 21 Audi R8 LMS for the Aug. 24-26 event.
It marks a change in the initial entry list, which had reigning IGTC champion Winkelhock listed.
Sportscar365 understands the German, who claimed maximum points in last weekend’s Total 24 Hours of Spa in an Audi Sport-backed Sainteloc Racing entry, is likely to be placed with either Absolute Racing or WRT, the two teams expected to carry factory support in the race.
The German manufacturer, which won the first two IGTC titles, extended its lead in the championship at Spa, due to the race-winning BMW M6 GT3 not being a registered manufacturer.
It now holds a seven-point lead over Mercedes-AMG, with Porsche losing considerable ground from its poor results in Spa but remanning third in the title race.
Picariello, who was dropped from Montaplast by Land Motorsport’s lineup in ADAC GT Masters earlier this year, currently competes in the China GT Championship.