> 47th Summer Endurance Suzuka 10 Hours confirmed for August 2018
Global GT racing promoter SRO Motorsports Group has joined forces with SUPER GT Series organiser GTA and Mobilityland to stage the first ever joint GT3/GT300 race. The 10-hour endurance event will take place at the world famous Suzuka Circuit in Japan on 23-26 August 2018.
The event’s roots lie in SUPER GT’s successful Suzuka 1000km race, which will be staged for the final time later this season. However, its history will live on through the 47th Summer Endurance Suzuka 10 Hours.
SRO already oversees SUPER GT’s GT300 Balance of Performance regulations, but this is the first time both the Japanese championship class and GT3 - the backbone of worldwide customer GT racing - have had the chance to compete against one another.
That raises the tantalising prospect of manufacturers, teams and drivers currently contesting SRO promoted and partner GT3 series - such as the Blancpain GT Series in Europe and Asia, Pirelli World Challenge in America, British GT Championship, and endurance races forming the Intercontinental GT Challenge (Bathurst 12 Hours, Total 24 Hours of Spa, California 8 Hours and Motul Sepang 12 Hours) - taking on the best Japan has to offer on equal terms.
Times remain TBC but the race is expected to start at 10:30 local time and run into the evening before finishing at 20:30. A total prize fund of 100million Yen ($874,000) has also been confirmed.
Susumu Yamashita, Mobilityland Co. Ltd. President: “First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation and respect for both partners; the GT Association and the SRO Motorsports Group, here today with us, for their collaboration in the realisation of this promising project. We are proud to announce that in August of 2018, the Suzuka Circuit will host as a new project the 47th end-of-summer Endurance Race in the new format of a 10-hour endurance race, as a new project. In collaboration, the Suzuka Circuit will provide the dream stage where worldwide GT series will gather in the prospect of future worldwide expansion. We are determined to, together with the entire local region, fully support the event, the public, the entrants and all of those involved in this promising project. By implementing this new project, we aim to create and nourish a brand new festive summer style which will certainly also promote new values. This summer Suzuka Circuit will host the last SUPER GT Series 1000km race at Suzuka. Hence, we will also be devoting ourselves to detailed preparations in order to assure the hosting of a further innovative and appealing 2018 Suzuka Round SUPER GT Series, which will include updates in race distance and event date.”
Masaaki Bandoh, GT Association Co. Ltd. President: “Following the GT Association vision concept, this new project will constitute one more link and step into the globalisation of the SUPER GT Series. We are and will continue working close together in the effort of establishing this race in the calendar as one of the rounds that will unify the GT300 in South East Asia. Concerning the new race format for the Suzuka Round SUPER GT Series in 2018 and onwards we are determined to, together with Mobilityland, bring to the circuit and to the enthusiasts much new excitement and emotion. We are determined to provide the ultimate environment that continues to invite and satisfy the vast public and motorsports fans.”
Stephane Ratel, SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO: “I am very excited to be here at Suzuka Circuit today to officially unveil the 47th Summer Endurance Suzuka 10 Hours. SRO fully supports this new project undertaken by Mobilityland. We are at a legendary circuit that is highly valued both in Europe and Asia. It is therefore a most appropriate platform to host a global GT race and write another chapter in the Suzuka Circuit’s long and valuable history. SRO will fully embrace the event by supporting champions from our numerous affiliated global categories and those teams currently competing in the European and Asian Blancpain GT Series to ensure that it flourishes and becomes a success.”
47th Summer Endurance Suzuka 10 Hours
Organiser: Mobilityland Co. Ltd, Suzuka Motor Sports Club
Collaboration partners: SRO Motorsports Group,GT Association Co. Ltd.
Eligible entries: GT300 (FIA-GT3 and JAF-GT machines), GT3 (FIA-GT3, ST-X, etc. (TBC))
Image caption: Mobilityland Co. Ltd. President Susumu Yamashita (left) shakes hands with SRO Motorsports Group Founder and CEO Stephane Ratel at today's announcement in Japan.