A season-high 31 supercars travel to Suzuka this weekend for the first leg of Blancpain GT Series Asia’s Japanese double header. Suzuka’s iconic 5.807km, 18-turn figure-of-eight circuit remains one of motorsport’s greatest challenges, as well as a bucket list destination for any driver. Two 60-minute sprint races will provide a stern test for Blancpain GT Series Asia’s teams before the championship completes its mid-season Japanese adventure in Fuji three weeks later.
HubAuto Corsa. Twenty-three GT3 cars make the trip to Suzuka, three are Ferrari 488 GT3s. Consistency has also been key to Nick Foster and Leo Ye Hongli occupying third in the overall standings after four races on the HubAuto Corsa Ferrari and are among the best crews in the Silver Cup. This weekend on the other 488 GT3 of the HubAuto Corsa team Morris Chen, in Pro-Am class, will be paired to Davide Rigon, the works Ferrari driver who will take the opportunity to familiarize with the car, the team and the track on which the 10 Hours of Suzuka race will be held on August 26.
ARN Racing. Racing with Ferrari there’s also ARN Racing who has a change in the drivers’ line-up. Due to a clash with the Super GT championship full-season drivers Hiroaki Nagai and Daisuke Ito will be missing Suzuka. They’ll be replaced in the #8 Ferrari by Am Cup duo Shinji Takei and Hideki Nagai, who usually compete in a one-make series.
New tyres. Pirelli’s new-for-2018 P Zero DHD2 tyre will be introduced for the first time this year at Suzuka. Many GT3 teams will have their first chance to try the new compound during a five-hour test session before the weekend begins with practice on Friday.