The initial entry list for the Intercontinental GT Challenge Suzuka 10 Hours has been released by SRO, it features 25 cars (22 of which are IGTC nominated) which will be joined by local entries when the full list is revealed.
All eight IGTC manufacturers are represented in the first batch, which already sees a greater number of IGTC-nominated entries than last year’s running of the race, which had a 35-car grid.
Mercedes AMG and Porsche, who sit atop the IGTC points standings, already have four cars apiece for the race.
GruppeM Racing and Strakka Racing, who scored the Mercedes a 1-2 finish last year in the race are joined by Super GT fan favourites GoodSmile Racing and Hong Kong outfit Craft-Bamboo Racing. Kenny Habul’s SunEnergy1 Racing is also entered but will only score points towards the Bronze Drivers’ Championship.
Porsche, meanwhile, is represented by this year’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hours winners, Earl Bamber Motorsport, plus one of its Asian partner teams, Absolute Racing. Both will enter two new 911 GT3 Rs.
Reigning champions, Audi Sport, sticks with the same combination as last season, bringing Absolute Racing (who will race for both Porsche and Audi), Super GT regulars Hitotsuyama Racing and Team WRT.
Ferrari will look for further IGTC success when its customers travel to Japan after taking a big win in the California 8 Hours with HubAuto Corsa. HubAuto, which sat on pole last year at Suzuka will race a 488 GT3 alongside Japanese stalwarts ARN Racing and current Asian Le Mans Series GT3 Champion CarGuy Racing, which has switched from Honda to Ferrari.
Bentley, BMW and Nissan will all be represented by their respective full-season teams, namely Bentley Team M-Sport, BMW Team Schnitzer and Walkenhorst Motorsport, and KCMG, while Team Motul spearheads Honda’s factory challenge.
In addition to the 22 IGTC cars on the list, there are three more confirmed one-off guest entries.
Two of them are already-announced European entries, a second Strakka Racing Mercedes and an Aston Martin from Garage 59.
The third is a Lamborghini. Australian outfit AMAC Motorsport, a World Challenge Asia regular, makes the Italian marque the 10th confirmed manufacturer.
More than 40 cars are expected to be on the final list for the August 25th race, which will include the cars mentioned above as well as additional cars from World Challenge Asia, Super GT and Super Taikyu.