All the things you must know earlier than Tremendous GT pre-season testing

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When do the checks happen?

All occasions are in JST (GMT +9)

Saturday March 6

Session 1: 10: 00-12.10
Session 2: 14: 00-16.20 (contains 10 minutes of operation for GT300 solely and GT500 solely)

Sunday March 7

Session 3: 9:00 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.
Session 4: 13: 50-16.00

One other official two-day take a look at is scheduled for Fuji Speedway on March 27-28 earlier than the season begins in Okayama on April 10-11.

Which groups are testing this weekend?

All 44 automobiles that made the total season entry listing can be in motion this weekend in Okayama. This 12 months’s grid consists of 15 automobiles within the higher GT500 class and 29 within the decrease GT300 division, a lower from final season.

Toyota, Honda and Nissan proceed their three-way GT500 rivalry, supplying six, 5 and 4 automobiles respectively – the identical quantity as final 12 months. A minimum of 12 manufacturers are represented in GT300, which incorporates automobiles from three totally different guidelines: GT300 (previously JAF GT300), the “ Mom Chassis ” automobiles primarily based on an ordinary Dome tub, and the dominant FIA GT3 automobiles. Six GT300 automobiles and a pair of Mom Chassis machines face 21 FIA GT3s this 12 months.

Begin the motion

Picture by: Masahide Kamio

Toyota and Nissan are the best-represented entries within the class with 5 entries every, adopted by Mercedes with 4, Honda with three and Audi and Lamborghini with two every. Returning Lotus, Subaru, Porsche, BMW and Ferrari are all represented by one automobile.

The SUPER GT’s four-track tire conflict additionally continues to rage, however with a slight shift within the stability of energy following the Mugen Honda crew’s not too long ago introduced transfer from Yokohama Rubber to Dunlop. Bridgestone provides the majority of the GT500 class with 9 automobiles, with the remaining six now break up equally between Michelin, Yokohama and Dunlop.

Michelin is not concerned within the GT300 class, with certainly one of its two purchasers from final 12 months’s class – LM Corsa – switching to Dunlop rubber and the opposite, D’station Racing, failing to achieve entry in 2021 on the finish of its alliance with Pacific Racing.

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Who’s new to the community in 2021?

In GT500, there are not any new groups this 12 months, with the composition of the Toyota, Honda and Nissan roster unchanged from 2020. However there are some new drivers, notably the brand new Nissan recruit Nobuharu Matsushita (Workforce Impul ) and Honda younger pistol Toshiki Oyu (Mugen). Moreover, Kenta Yamashita is again from her “ 12 months overseas ” racing full-time for Rookie Racing, reunited with 2019 title-winning co-driver Kazuya Oshima.

Essentially the most notable GT300 newcomer must be Giuliano Alesi, who will be part of Toyota Workforce Thailand in Okayama and possibly for a lot of the season as Sean Walkinshaw’s teammate. The previous Ferrari Academy driver makes his sports activities automobile racing debut after 5 racing seasons within the Method 1 help paddock, and can also be retaining his footing within the single-seater by collaborating in a full Tremendous Method Lights marketing campaign with TOM’S .

# 35 arto RC F GT3

# 35 arto RC F GT3

Picture by: Masahide Kamio

Certainly one of Alesi’s SF Lights rivals, Honda junior Ren Sato, makes his debut with the ARTA GT300 crew alongside veteran Shinichi Takagi, whereas Teppei Natori joins the UpGarage Honda crew, becoming a member of forces with the ex-GT500 Takashi Kobayashi.

One other younger driver to look at, at the least in the course of the Okayama take a look at, can be Japanese F4 champion Hibiki Taira, who takes over from Sena Sakaguchi at Okay-Tunes Racing. Sakaguchi replaces Sacha Fenestraz within the TOM’S GT500 crew as an alternative. Whether or not the 2 will find yourself operating for his or her non permanent groups relies on how rapidly Fenestraz’s present visa points are resolved.

In GT300 there are not any model new groups as such, however there are two returning groups within the type of Workforce LeMans and CarGuy Racing. Workforce LeMans, who parted methods with Toyota simply after profitable the 2019 GT500 title, are again with an Audi R8 LMS for three-time GT500 champion Satoshi Motoyama and newcomer Yoshiaki Katayama, whereas CarGuy returns after an absence three years in a brand new partnership with Pacific Course to area a Ferrari 488 GT3 for Kei Cozzolino and Takeshi Kimura.

Is anybody lacking from final 12 months?

On the motive force’s aspect, probably the most notable absences from a world viewpoint are former Tokyo roommates Nick Cassidy and Jann Mardenborough. The previous Toyota Cassidy is now racing full-time in Method E, whereas Mardenborough doubtlessly faces a season on the sidelines following the top of his tenure as a Nissan GT500 driver.

Jann Mardenborough, Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 from Kondo Racing, Nick Cassidy, Lexus LC500 from Lexus Team TOM

Jann Mardenborough, Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 from Kondo Racing, Nick Cassidy, Lexus LC500 from Lexus Workforce TOM

Picture by: Masahide Kamio

The one different GT500 driver of 2020 to come back off a file is former IndyCar driver Hideki Mutoh, who’s changed by Oyu within the Mugen Honda crew alongside Ukyo Sasahara. Nevertheless, Mutoh was recruited by the Kunimitsu crew to interchange Tadasuke Makino in the course of the Okayama take a look at, as Makino continues to recuperate from meningitis.

In GT300, two groups are utterly absent from 2020: D’station Racing, which misplaced its entry rights following the top of its merger with Pacific Racing, and X Works primarily based in Hong Kong. The merger of the Inging and Vehicles Tokai Lotus groups explains the discount of 1 automobile within the class in comparison with the 2 new arrivals (Pacific / CarGuy and Workforce LeMans).

As for the drivers, three worldwide drivers on the grid on the finish of final 12 months are absent: Jake Parsons, Sean Thong and Mathias Beche. Japan-based Australian Parsons switched to Tremendous Taikyu for 2021, however hopes to make SUPER GT outings this 12 months, whereas Hong Kong-born Thong and Swiss driver Beche have but to disclose their plans. for the brand new season.

Among the many Japanese drivers absent because it stands are Kazuko Kotaka, sufferer of the Inging / Lotus merger, director-driver D’station Tomonobu Fujii, Hitotsuyama Audi stand-in Tsubasa Kondo (changed by Takuro Shinahara for 2021) and JLOC replaces Tsubasa Takahashi and Shinnosuke Yamada (changed by Natsu Sakaguchi and Kosuke Matsuura).

Are there any new automobiles in 2021?

Not within the GT500 class. Actually, the aviation improvement freeze launched within the wake of the coronavirus pandemic means this 12 months’s premium automobile race – the Toyota GR Supra, Honda NSX-GT, and NIssan GT-R – are extraordinarily comparable. than final 12 months.

However there’s a new automobile within the GT300’s ranks within the type of the extremely anticipated second-generation Subaru BRZ. This replaces the older mannequin which had been in service since 2012 and relies on the highway automobile that was formally unveiled late final 12 months. Takuto Iguchi and Hideki Yamauchi stay drivers because the crew led by R&D Sport seeks a really first title.

# 61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT

# 61 SUBARU BRZ R&D SPORT

Picture by: Subaru

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What different modifications are there for this 12 months?

The plain change from final 12 months is the schedule, which sees the return of Sugo, Autopolis and Okayama – which hosts the primary spherical subsequent month – after their absence from final 12 months’s coronavirus-impacted schedule. A much less condensed schedule additionally means there can be fewer races in the summertime and extra in the course of the cooler months of spring and fall, which may result in moist races after a 2020 season that had just about no racing on. moist floor.

The Full Course Yellow, delayed from its deliberate introduction final 12 months, can be examined additional this weekend in Okayama and will make its full debut in some unspecified time in the future within the season, which might change the complexion of races and remove a few of the must make stands. as quickly as doable to cowl the chance of a security automobile.

FCY practice

FCY apply

Picture by: Masahide Kamio

It also needs to be famous how the return tracks, that are all slower and comparatively technical, will have an effect on the course of the championship. Sugo and Autopolis are the fifth and sixth races of the 12 months – in different phrases, when the load handicaps are at their highest. Since these tracks are prone to penalize heavier automobiles lower than tracks like Fuji or Motegi, because of this championship contenders can purpose for higher outcomes at this level within the marketing campaign reasonably than simply giving up just a few factors like that. was usually the case in 2020..

The hit ballast itself is unchanged from final 12 months – 2kg per level in GT500 for rounds two by way of six and 3kg per level in GT300. For the penultimate race at Motegi, it is halved at 1kg and 1.5kg respectively, and for the Fuji remaining, the weights are eliminated completely.

One other minor change is an adjustment designed to stage the taking part in area within the GT300 class, with GT300 rule automobiles not with the ability to change their entrance and rear diffuser designs all season lengthy and solely with the ability to use two several types of entrance and rear duck. rear spoiler (however any mixture thereof). The hope is that this may deliver the subclass nearer to the FIA ​​GT3 automobiles, which have a hard and fast specification and can’t be modified from their homologated design.

# 55 ARTA NSX GT3

# 55 ARTA NSX GT3

Picture by: Masahide Kamio

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