December’s Sepang 12 Hours is likely to welcome some Japanese competitors following an agreement struck between Super GT promoters, GTA, and co-race organizers, SRO Motorsports Group.
Super GT’s GT300 class features cars built to the same GT3 specification as used at Sepang, making it relatively simple for Japanese teams and drivers to compete for overall honors in Asia’s premier endurance GT3 race.
The collaboration was announced at Sepang International Circuit’s appreciation dinner where both GTA Senior manger of the race division Naoki Hattori and SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO Stephane Ratel were in attendance.
“The original partnership with Sepang International Circuit was, in part, intended to create an event that would ultimately establish itself as one of the world’s most important GT3 races, featuring the best European, Australian, Asian and Japanese teams,” Ratel said.
“Today’s announcement and collaboration with GTA is a major step towards fulfilling that objective. I hope many Japanese teams take the opportunity to compete against the best that the Intercontinental GT Challenge and Blancpain GT Series has to offer.”
This year’s edition of the Malaysian event will act as the season finale for the inaugural Intercontinental GT Challenge following a successful first standalone race held at Sepang last December.
SRO’s global four-round GT3 series brings together some of the world’s biggest sports car events, starting with the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in Australia (February 6/7) before moving on to the U.S. for the Blancpain 6 Hours of The Americas (March 5/6) and then the Total 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium (July 28-31). Sepang closes the season on December 10/11.
The championship also boasts a wealth of manufacturer entries, the latest being Porsche which has entrusted its factory Manthey squad with a pair of 2016-spec 911 GT3s for the forthcoming Sepang 12 Hours.
Mr Hattori welcomed the opportunity for Japanese GT3 teams and drivers to test their mettle against some of the world’s best.
“GTA and SRO will work together to bring additional excitement and interest to the Sepang 12 Hours and create further opportunities for GT3 manufactures and teams who are aiming higher,” he said.
“GTA will encourage Japanese teams to participate in the Sepang 12 Hours, which will be one of the most attractive and competitive GT3 races in the world.”