KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) heads to Japan with its two Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 cars for the fourth round of the 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge, the Suzuka 10 Hours, which marks Nissan’s home event (23-25 August).
Having completed its fourth and final 24-hour race of the year at the Total 24 Hours of Spa both of KCMG’s Nissans are ready to head out in this weekend’s event at Suzuka for the penultimate round of the 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge campaign.
Driving the #18 car is FIA World Endurance Championship LMP1 race winner Oliver Jarvis. He knows the circuit well in GT3 machinery having participated in last year’s event, but also has experience from Super GT and his earlier years in Japanese Formula 3, where he scored two podiums at the Grand Prix venue.
Team-mate Alexandre Imperatori has also had success at Suzuka, winning during his 2009 Japanese Formula 3 season.
2016 GT Asia champion Edoardo Liberati finished second here during last year’s Blancpain GT Series Asia. He lines up alongside Jarvis and Imperatori, who all look to improve on the good pace shown throughout this year’s IGTC campaign.
On board the #35 machine is Blancpain Endurance Series GT3 Pro Cup champion Katsumasa Chiyo, who has scored a second-place finish at Suzuka in Super GT’s GT300 category. Alongside him is the double Super GT and Formula Nippon champion Tsugio Matsuda, another prior victor around the 5.807km track in Super Formula.
2016 AFR Series champion Joshua Burdon also returns from the last event in Spa and aims to assist his team-mates in scoring a strong result for their home race.
Practice will begin on Friday 23 August at 14:10 local time with qualifying on Saturday at 13:00, concluding in a Pole Shootout at 17:30. Lights out will be at 10:00 on Sunday.
Edoardo Liberati, #18 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I’m really looking forward to racing again at the Suzuka 10 Hours. Last year our team was strong and the car performed very well, we were in the hunt for the podium at half-race distance. This year we are even better as we are always improving on every side, so I am confident of a competitive result.”
Alexandre Imperatori, #18 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I’m really excited for Nissan’s home race, the Suzuka 10 Hours. We will be back in a familiar place and the team keeps getting stronger. We will push very hard to give KCMG and Nissan a first Intercontinental GT Challenge victory on home soil. I’m looking forward to seeing all the amazing Japanese fans that make the event so special.”
Oliver Jarvis, #18 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “It’s great to be back at Suzuka where I first raced for KCMG last year. We had a strong event and I see no reason why we shouldn’t be better this year. After a tough few races where we haven’t got the results we deserved, it would be good to reward the team’s hard work.”
Tsugio Matsuda, #35 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “This is our second time racing in the Suzuka 10 Hours. Last year we had great pace but it didn’t turn out as we wanted. We hope to rectify the issues we had last time out. As this is both Nissan’s and my home race, I will give it my absolute all to get a great result.”
Josh Burdon, #35 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “The Suzuka 10 Hours is the home race for Nissan so I hope we can have a clean race and bring a fantastic result. The team is always motivated, and I have a good feeling for this weekend that it can be very positive.”
Katsumasa Chiyo, #35 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I’m looking forward to the Suzuka 10 Hours this weekend. It will be my second time competing in this event. Last year we were unfortunate not to have the result we deserved as we had solid race pace, but everyone in the team has been giving it their all to improve for better results. We are growing together as a team and believe we can get a fantastic result.”
Paul Ip, KCMG Founder: “Although this is only the second year we are running in the Suzuka 10 Hours, we learnt a lot from last year’s outing and have continued to do so throughout this Intercontinental GT Challenge season, during which we have consistently shown good speed with the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3. Good luck to the drivers for this weekend where we wish to put on an excellent showing for Nissan’s home event.”