The Pirelli Super Taikyu Series resumes this weekend at Sportsland Sugo in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, with the Sugo Super Taikyu 3 Hours Race double-header.
Best news of all, for prospective fans of Japan’s top pro-am endurance series around the world, the series’ official YouTube channel “Super Taikyu TV” will resume its live streams of the remaining rounds of the 2020-21 season, starting this weekend with coverage of the Group 2 Race on Saturday, 12:30 JST / 4:30 BST / 5:30 CEST / Friday 23:30 EDT – followed by Sunday’s Group 1 Race, featuring the GT3 and GT4 class entries, on Sunday (same start time). Live timing will also be available for both races.
29 cars will be entered in the Group 1 race, and 22 cars will be entered in the Group 2 race, bringing the weekend’s entry list to a total of 51 cars.
Fuji Super TEC 24 Hours winners Mercedes-AMG Team Hirix Racing return with the trio of Daisuke Yamawaki, Shinichi Takagi, and Shaun Thong to headline the ST-X (FIA GT3) field. They’re joined by the two Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s of MP Racing (Joe Shindo/Yusaku Shibata/Masami Kageyama/Keiichi Inoue) and defending series champions GTNET Motor Sports (Noboyuki Oyagi/Kazuki Hoshino/Ryuichiro Oyagi/Kiyoto Fujinami), plus the Aston Martin AMR Vantage GT3 of D’station Racing (Satoshi Hoshino/Tomonobu Fujii/Tsubasa Kondo) and the Lexus RC F GT3 of apr Racing (Hideki Nagai/Koki Saga/Kazuto Kotaka).
The ST-X field has grown to six cars for this race, as Porsche Center Okazaki have brought their Porsche 911 GT3-R for Hiroaki Nagai and Yuta Kamimura. This team was set to take part in the GT World Challenge Asia series in 2020 under the ARN Racing name, the team that won the title in 2017.
The grid in the ST-Z (FIA GT4) class has grown from 7 to 9 cars, with the season debuts of TK Racing Invitational (TKRI) and their Mercedes-AMG GT4 (Drivers: Daisuke Matsunaga/Yuya Motojima/Takaaki Hamada), and the second BMW M4 GT4 from BMW Team Studie under the Team São Tomé and Principe banner (Takashi Kochiya/Takumi Sanada/Yuji Takahashi).
They join the seven cars from the Fuji 24 Hours: The Mercedes-AMG GT4s of class winners Endless Sports (Yuudai Uchida/Hideki Yamauchi/Tsubasa Takahashi) and Team 5Zigen (Ryuichiro Otsuka/Takayuki Aoki/Kazuya Shimogaki/Yuya Sakamoto); KTM Cars Japan’s X-Bow GT4 (Taiyou Iida/Hiroki Katoh/Kazuho Takahashi), Birth Racing Project’s Porsche 718 Cayman MR (Kohei Fukuda/Takeshi Matsumoto/Yusuke Shiotsu/Koichi Okumura), the lead BMW Team Studie M4 GT4 (Hirokazu Suzuki/Takayuki Kinoshita/Jukuchou Sunako), D’station Racing’s Vantage GT4 (Tatsuya Hoshino/Manabu Orido/Takuro Shinohara/Kenji Hama), and Audi Team AS Sport’s R8 GT4 (Genki Nishimura/Takeshi Okamoto/Shozo Tagahara).
A tenth GT4 car is in the field courtesy of the ST-1 class Rookie Racing Toyota GR Supra (Naoya Gamou/Daisuke Toyoda/Yasuhiro Ogura/Shunsuke Kohno), the only entry in the ST-1 category with the withdrawal of Tracy Sports’ Lexus RC F this weekend.
Rookie Racing are also bringing their ST-2 class Toyota GR Yaris, with one driver slot still TBA going into the weekend – which opens the door for Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio “Morizo” Toyoda to make another appearance alongside Takuto Iguchi and Masahiro Sasaki.
ST-TCR is down to just three cars this weekend: The two Audi RS3 LMS’ of Waimarama Kizuna Racing (Kizuna/Katsumasa Chiyo/Hironobu Yasuda/Riki Okusa) and Audi Team Mars (Toshiro Tsukada/Masanobu Kato/Masato Shimoyama/Taketoshi Matsui), and the lone Honda Civic of Floral Racing with Uematsu (Tadao Uematsu/Yuji Ide/Shintaro Kawabata).
Across some of the production categories, teams like HELM Motorsports (ST-3, Lexus RC 350), Kobe Toyopet Motorsports (ST-4, Toyota 86), TC Corse (ST-4, Mazda Roadster RF), and Team Yamato (ST-5, Honda Fit) are making their first appearances of the 2020 season.
Images courtesy of the Super Taikyu Organisation (STO)