The elite of global GT racing will descend on Suzuka this weekend to contest a 10-hour race at the iconic Japanese circuit.
The long-distance event represents the third round of this year’s Intercontinental GT Challenge, following last month’s 70th edition Total 24 Hours of Spa, and will feature a number of teams and drivers familiar to fans of the Blancpain GT Series.
Audi Sport Team WRT will field an all-star line-up at Suzuka. Christopher Mies, Frederic Vervisch and Dries Vanthoor will pilot the #06 Audi R8 LMS, while the #17 machine features WRT regular Stuart Leonard alongside Jake Dennis and Sheldon van der Linde.
At Audi Sport Team Absolute Racing, Blancpain GT Series stalwarts Christopher Haase and Markus Winkelhock are joined by Total 24 Hours of Spa podium finisher Kelvin van der Linde. Meanwhile, the Japanese-based Audi Sport Team Hitotsuyama squad will include sometime Blancpain GT Series racer Alessio Picariello among its crew.
Bentley Team M-Sport will field its tried and tested Blancpain GT Series line-ups at the Japanese circuit. In the #07 Continental GT3, Steven Kane, Jules Gounon and Jordan Pepper share driving duties; in the #08 machine, Andy Soucek, Maxime Soulet and Vincent Abril will take the controls.
A trio of Ferrari experts will pilot the #27 HubAuto Corsa machine, with Matt Griffin, Davide Rigon and Miguel Molina handling the 488 GT3. Fresh from a class victory at the Total 24 Hours of Spa, David Perel will be part of the sister #28 car’s three-man crew.
British squad Strakka Racing will field three Mercedes-AMG GT3s at Suzuka. Each member of its nine-strong driver roster has competed for the team in the Blancpain GT Series this term, though the line-ups have been shuffled for the Japanese outing.
In the #42 car, Nick Leventis is joined by David Fumanelli and Felipe Fraga. The #43 Mercedes-AMG features Maxi Goetz, Alvaro Parente and Lewis Williamson, while Adrien Tambay, Oliver Rowland and Maxi Buhk will handle the #44.
The #888 Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing machine features a heavyweight line-up of Raffaele Marciello, Tristan Vautier and Maro Engel. Also flying the Mercedes-AMG flag is Sun Energy 1 Racing, which will rely on Kenny Habul, Mikael Grenier and Luca Stolz.
McLaren squad Garage 59 will field its usual Blancpain GT Series line-up of Come Ledogar, Andrew Watson and Ben Barnicoat, while Manthey Racing will do likewise with Romain Dumas, Dirk Werner and Frederic Makowiecki at the wheel of its Porsche 911 GT3 R. Craft Bamboo Racing counts on former Blancpain GT Series champion Laurens Vanthoor teaming up with Kevin Estre and Mathieu Jaminet.
Reigning Endurance Cup champion Andrea Caldarelli will drive the #88 JLOC Lamborghini Huracan GT3. Finally, Total 24 Hours of Spa winner Tom Blomqvist will pair up with Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup regular Piti Bhirombhakdi in the #91 SINGHA-Team AAI squad’s BMW M6 GT3.
With such strong representation throughout the field, there is every chance of a Blancpain GT Series star standing on the top step of the podium at Suzuka this weekend.
➢ Suzuka: what you need to know
Saturday 25 August
13:00 – 13:15: Qualifying 1
13:30 – 13:45: Qualifying 2
14:00 – 14:15: Qualifying 3
14:45 – 15:00: Pole Shootout
Sunday 26 August
08:00 – 08:20: Warm-up
10:00 – 20:00: Race
How to watch
Livestream via Intercontinental GT Challenge website (only track sound)
Live streaming - Suzuka 10 Hours Race
As per Suzuka’s exclusive broadcast agreement, all 10 hours will be streamed live across Europe and the Asia-Pacific region exclusively on Eurosport Player. North American viewers can watch the same live coverage via Motor Trend On Demand.
As-live streaming - Suzuka 10 Hours Race
After the chequered flag (13.00 JST), the race will be streamed in full on Intercontinental GT Challenge’s website, as well as SRO’s GT World Youtube channel.
Live timing - Suzuka 10 Hours
The usual live timing service is unavailable this weekend.
More info on Intercontinental GT Challenge website