Blancpain GT Series Asia race winners KCMG will enter two cars in this week’s 10-hour race at Suzuka alongside a single entry from Super GT GT300 class winners, Gainer.
The Suzuka 10 Hour replaces the Suzuka 1000km, which was previously run as a Super GT race through last year.
Now part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the Suzuka 10 Hour joins the Bathurst 12 Hour, Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hour and the Laguna Seca 8 Hour as one of the biggest GT3 races of the year.
KCMG will field the No. 018 GT-R with Super GT aces Katsumasa Chiyo and Tsugio Matsuda alongside regular Blancpain GT Series Asia pilot Alexandre Imperatori.
The No. 23 entry will feature regular driver Edoardo Liberati alongside Brit Oliver Jarvis and KCMG’s former Nissan-powered Le Mans LMP2 winner, Richard Bradley.
Gainer’s No. 11 GT-R entry features Hironobu Yasuda, Kazuki Hoshino and Katsuyuki Hiranaka.
“After racing in the Blancpain series last year, I’ve been really looking forward to getting back into international GT3 endurance racing,” Chiyo said.
“The Suzuka 10 hour is the first big international GT3 race in Japan, and I’m very proud to take part with the KCMG team.
“I haven’t had a lot of time in the 2018 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, but I have a lot of experience in GT3 and racing with the Pirelli tyre.
“The KCMG team has done a great job with the new car in Blancpain Asia series, and they won the last race at Fuji.
“My teammates Tsugio san and Alex are very reliable and experienced so I hope we can combine together to be really strong at Suzuka.”
A total of 35 GT3 will contest the event. Both KCMG and Gainer have taken the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 to victory lane in 2018. KCMG won the Saturday race at the recent round at Fuji while Gainer triumphed in Thailand at the Chang International Circuit in Super GT GT300.