Motul Sepang 12 Hours organizers SRO Motorsports Group have renewed its partnership with Super GT promoter, GT Association, in a bid to encourage more Japanese teams and drivers to compete in Asia’s only Intercontinental GT Challenge round on Dec. 7-10.
Sepang will play host to the fourth and final round of the IGTC season, following stops in Australia (Bathurst), Europe (Spa) and North America (Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca).
The event’s proximity to Japan, where the same FIA GT3-eligible cars regularly compete in the Super GT GT300 class, as well as Super Taikyu, makes Sepang an ideal opportunity for existing teams and drivers to race on the international stage.
SRO and GTA first worked together last year when its collaboration resulted in six Japanese teams and 20 drivers contesting the race, more than any other nation.
The two organizations also recently inked a deal that will see cooperation for next year’s inaugural Suzuka 10 Hour race, which will replace Sepang on the IGTC calendar, with the Malaysian race moving to the new Asia-Pacific 36 Cup.
“GTA is pleased to be working alongside SRO to help deliver another successful Motul Sepang 12 Hours later this year,” said GTA President Masaaki Bandoh.
“We will act as liaison between the Japanese teams and event organizers, just as we did in 2016, to help ensure this season’s entry is represented by every corner of Asian motorsport.”
A high-class entry, in which GT4 and Marc Cars classes will also feature, is currently being assembled ahead of this year’s event.
Porsche recently confirmed that it was aiming to avenge last December’s defeat by Audi, while other Intercontinental GT Challenge manufactures competing at last month’s Total 24 Hours of Spa included Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Nissan.
“Our partnership with GTA was one of the unheralded success stories of 2016’s Motul Sepang 12 Hours and is certainly something I was eager to renew ahead of this year’s event,” said event General Manager Benjamin Franassovici.
“The incredible number of Japanese teams and drivers GTA helped assemble last season proves that an appetite exists within the country to race internationally, and Asia’s only Intercontinental GT Challenge round provides exactly that right on their doorstep.
“We have already seen Japanese entries achieve success in Blancpain GT Series Asia’s shorter sprint races, and I’m confident several more will now take up the challenge of competing over 12 hours against world-class opposition at Sepang.”