The 2020 Pirelli Super Taikyu Series is almost here, with the first official pre-season test taking part on 29 February at Fuji Speedway.
The series has published its provisional entry list for the 2020 season, featuring 64 teams (including TBA entries) across its eight categories of competition.
The premier class for FIA GT3 cars, ST-X, has nine entries listed, though only five of them have been confirmed as of today. One name that is missing from that entry as of today is the two-time and defending series champions, GTNET Motor Sports.
Two Nissan entries are announced thus far: MP Racing returns for the 2020 season, expected to take on the 2018-spec model GT-R GT3, and after withdrawing midway through the season, Tairoku Racing is back, with their 2020 lineup headed by Nissan racing legend Satoshi Motoyama.
D’station Racing will again field their Aston Martin AMR Vantage GT3 that won the first and last rounds in 2019. Sato-SS Sports, two-time Am Cup winners of the Suzuka 10 Hours, return with their Mercedes-AMG GT3. And championship-winning Super GT team, apr Racing, return to the series with a Lexus RC F GT3.
The biggest growth in the series comes in the GT4 category (ST-Z) which has a healthy twelve-car entry list, with nine confirmed entries and three more to be announced!
Of the nine confirmed entries, we have two new-to-Super Taikyu models already announced: The aforementioned D’station Racing will debut the Aston Martin AMR Vantage GT4, and in a new alliance with Porsche Japan, Birth Racing Project (BRP) will field the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 MR.
Four Mercedes-AMG GT4s feature on the grid, including defending ST-Z champions Endless Sports, the second BRP entry, Team 5Zigen (who ran the season finale at Okayama), and a new team, TKRI, owned by Super GT champion Tatsuya Kataoka.
The other confirmed entries are the KTM X-Bow GT4 of KTM Cars Japan, the Ginetta G55 GT4 of Techno First Racing Team, and the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport of Team BEND (expected to run part-time).
ST-TCR is down to just four confirmed entries and two TBAs, with Birth Racing Project leaving the category to focus on their GT4 efforts. Three Honda Civics are on the entry as of today, from Team Noah, Floral Racing with Uematsu, and Cyber Formula Racing RFC, named for the animated series, Future Cyber Formula GPX. There is also a lone Audi RS3 listed, for returning team Waimarama Kizuna Racing.
And in the production-based classes, Rookie Racing, who now have a presence in Super GT and Super Taikyu with Toyota Gazoo Racing, are making a big splash with the Toyota GR Supra that will race in the ST-1 (3501cc and above) class, and the new Toyota GR Yaris that’ll race in the ST-2 (2000-3500cc, front and all-wheel drive) classes.
GT300 Champion Naoya Gamou will captain the GR Supra’s lineup, Subaru’s GT300 ace Takuto Iguchi will captain the GR Yaris, and Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, who operates the quasi-factory team independent of his activities at Toyota, will drive in select events.
In January, the Super Taikyu Organisation held its year-end awards ceremony during the Tokyo Auto Salon weekend in Chiba, Japan. The 2020 calendar has been updated with the season finale at Okayama International Circuit, originally scheduled for 15 November, now taking place on 1 November.
Moving the doubleheader weekend of three-hour races forward will prevent a clash of dates with Super Formula’s JAF Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit, which moved to the 15 November weekend to counter the 2020 WEC 6 Hours of Fuji, which will take place on the 1 November weekend.
In addition, the series’ second test at Fuji Speedway has been confirmed for 7 May, leading into the NAPAC Fuji Super TEC 24 Hours on 6-7 June.
2020 Pirelli Super Taikyu Series Provisional Entry List (as of 14 February)
ST-X (FIA GT3) – 9 Cars
9 – MP Racing – Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3
31 – apr Racing – Lexus RC F GT3
112 – Sato-SS Sports – Mercedes-AMG GT3
300 – Tairoku Racing – Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3
777 – D’station Racing – Aston Martin AMR Vantage GT3
Plus four TBN entries
ST-Z (FIA GT4) – 12 Cars
2 – KTM Cars Japan – KTM X-Bow GT4
3 – Endless Sports – Mercedes-AMG GT4
19 – Birth Racing Project – Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
23 – TKRI – Mercedes-AMG GT4
35 – Techno First Racing Team – Ginetta G55 GT4
47 – D’station Racing – Aston Martin AMR Vantage GT4
51 – BEND – Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport
190 – Birth Racing Project – Mercedes-AMG GT4
500 – Team 5Zigen – Mercedes-AMG GT4
Plus three TBN entries
ST-TCR – 6 Cars
22 – Waimarama Kizuna Racing Team – Audi RS3 LMS
75 – Team Noah – Honda Civic Type R TCR
108 – Cyber Formula Racing RFC – Honda Civic Type R TCR
290 – Floral Racing with Uematsu – Honda Civic Type R TCR
Plus two TBN entries
ST-1 (3501cc and above) – 2 Cars
28 – Rookie Racing – Toyota GR Supra
38 – Tracy Sports – Lexus RC F
ST-2 (2001-3500cc, front and all-wheel drive) – 6 Cars
6 – Shinryo Racing Team – Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
7 – Shinryo Racing Team – Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
17 – Team NOPRO – Mazda Axela (Mazda3) Diesel
32 – Rookie Racing – Toyota GR Yaris
59 – TOWA INTEC Racing – Subaru WRX STI
743 – Honda R&D Challenge – Honda Civic Type R
ST-3 (2001-3500cc, rear-wheel drive) – 7 Cars
14 – Okabe Jidosha Motorsport – Nissan Fairlady Z34 (370Z)
15 – Okabe Jidosha Motorsport – Nissan Fairlady Z34 (370Z)
34 – Techno First Racing Team – Lexus RC 350
39 – Tracy Sports – Lexus RC 350
52 – Saitama Toyopet GreenBrave – Toyota Mark X GR Sport
Plus two TBN entries
ST-4 (1501-2000cc) – 8 Cars
5 – Tracy Sports SPV Racing – Toyota 86
13 – Endless Sports – Toyota 86
18 – Asano Racing Service – Toyota 86
54 – TC Corse – Mazda Roadster (MX-5) RF
310 – C.S.I Racing – Toyota 86
884 – Hayashi Telempu Shade Racing – Toyota 86
Plus two TBN entries
ST-5 (1500cc and below) – 14 Cars
4 – Team Bride – Honda Fit
37 – Team NOPRO – Mazda Demio (Mazda2) Skyactiv-D
50 – Love Drive Racing – Mazda Roadster (MX-5)
66 – Over Drive – Mazda Roadster (MX-5)
67 – Team Yamato – Honda Fit
69 – J’s Racing – Honda Fit
72 – Nippon Automobile College – Mazda Roadster (MX-5)
78 – Love Drive Racing – Mazda Roadster (MX-5)
88 – Murakami Motors – Mazda Roadster (MX-5)
102 – HM Racers – Mazda Demio (Mazda2)
111 – Hiroshima Toyopet Racing – Toyota Vitz
120 – Murakami Motors – Mazda Roadster (MX-5)
168 – AKUA Racing with RFC – Honda Fit
Plus one TBN entry
Images courtesy of Aston Martin, Porsche, and the Super Taikyu Organisation (STO)
Rookie Racing launch photograph by Tsuyoshi Yasuda and Car Watch