One of the most recognizable and iconic sports car liveries in history will run its final race this weekend at Fuji Speedway.
Team Kunimitsu announced on Thursday that their 26-year title sponsorship with automotive accessories brand Raybrig will end at the conclusion of this weekend’s Autobacs Super GT Series race at Fuji Speedway. The news comes on the same day that the Stanley Electric Group of Japan announced that it will integrate all of their automotive accessories into the Stanley name, and retire the Raybrig brand in March 2021.
“26 years of history with Raybrig comes to an end with this season, but Team Kunimitsu will continue to compete in Super GT so that we can continue to make new history in this sport,” said team founder and General Manager, Kunimitsu Takahashi. “The team’s future plans for next season will be announced at the upcoming Tokyo Auto Salon in January 2021.”
In the final round of the 2020 Super GT Series, Team Kunimitsu will fight with Raybrig to regain the championship. We ask for your continued support of the Raybrig NSX-GT and Team Kunimitsu, car #100.”
Raybrig’s history with Team Kunimitsu can be traced back to the team’s GT2 class victory in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, when they were an associate sponsor of their all-red Honda NSX GT2. In 1996, Team Kunimitsu returned to Le Mans, with Raybrig as the title sponsor in their now-iconic royal blue colours for the very first time.
Since 1997, Team Kunimitsu’s All-Japan GT Championship/Super GT team has been sponsored by Raybrig, remaining a regular fixture on the grid ever since. Over the years the Raybrig NSX (and Raybrig HSV-010) have become almost synonymous with Super GT itself, through their real-life successes, and their inclusion in video games such as the Gran Turismo series.
The number 100 Raybrig Honda carried team owner Kunimitsu Takahashi to his final victory as a driver in 1999. In 2006, the Raybrig NSX finished runner-up in the GT500 standings. It would take nearly a quarter-century for Team Kunimitsu to finally capture the GT500 Championship, but in 2018, with 2013 Super Formula Champion Naoki Yamamoto and 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button driving, the second-generation Raybrig NSX won the title at last.
Yamamoto and his new co-driver, Tadasuke Makino, have a chance to take another championship in this final run for the Raybrig NSX-GT. They’re currently fourth in the GT500 Championship heading into Sunday’s race at Fuji, just two points back of first place. A race victory would clinch the championship.