On Wednesday, Toyota Team Cerumo announced that they will expand their operations in the GT500 class of the Autobacs Super GT Series for the 2020 season, fielding a second Toyota GR Supra GT500.
The announcement, made by Cerumo and in conjunction with their partners at INGING Motorsport, confirms one of the most anticipated changes of the 2019-20 offseason rumour mill.
Cerumo’s second car will replace the entry of reigning GT500 Champions Team LeMans, who officially ended their working relationship with Toyota at the conclusion of this weekend’s Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival at Fuji Speedway.
It is anticipated that reigning GT500 Drivers’ Champion, Kazuya Oshima, along with Team LeMans’ title sponsor Wako Chemical (Wako’s), will come over to the new second Cerumo car, while Yuji Tachikawa and Hiroaki Ishiura, who finished fourth in the GT500 Championship, will continue to drive Cerumo’s flagship #38 Toyota Supra.
Oshima’s championship-winning co-driver, Kenta Yamashita, is expected to take a hiatus from Super GT racing in 2020 as he focuses on his new role in the FIA World Endurance Championship as part of the Toyota Gazoo Racing WEC Challenge Programme.
Toyota Team Cerumo first entered the GT500 class of Super GT in 1995, and have won three championships, in 2001, 2005, and 2013. They’d most recently competed as a two-car operation from 1999 to 2002, and later a dual-class effort from 2004 to 2006, with Cerumo collaborating with 2001 GT500 Champion, Hironori Takeuchi, on a joint-run GT300 effort.
Alongside their Super GT expansion, Cerumo and INGING Motorsport will also expand to a three-car operation in Super Formula, with their new third car replacing one of Team LeMans’ two departing entries in that championship.
Toyota’s full range of motorsport activities for the 2020 season, including Super GT, will be announced in early February.
Image courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation.