Lotus Cars Japan, INGING Motorsport, and Cars Tokai Dream28 have announced a brand-new collaborative entry in the GT300 class of the Autobacs Super GT Series for 2021.
Amidst rumours that longtime GT300 entrants Cars Tokai Dream28 may have been forced to withdraw from the upcoming season due to financial constraints caused by COVID-19, the team were contacted by INGING Motorsport to form a joint entry under the “muta Racing INGING” name.
The team will continue to field the Mooncraft Engineering-designed Lotus Evora MC, the only mid-engined GTA-GT300 Mother Chassis vehicle in Super GT. Powered by the ex-Nissan 4.5 litre “GTA” V8, the #2 Lotus will feature new title sponsor, Japanese luxury goods brand muta – as well as the distinct black and metallic gold livery that adorned last year’s INGING entry, the #6 Advics muta Toyota MC86.
In addition, the Lotus makes the switch from Yokohama to Bridgestone tyres, who were the tyre suppliers of the previous Advics MC86 by INGING.
Hiroki Katoh remains the ace driver of the Lotus, the 52-year-old veteran taking part in his 19th season in total in the GT300 class. In 2020, Katoh gave the Lotus its first-ever Super GT victory, and the first for Cars Tokai Dream28 since 2010. His new co-driver, coming over from INGING, is 45-year-old Ryohei Sakaguchi. The journeyman driver is coming off a breakout season, scoring his first two podiums in 2020.
Behind the scenes, INGING will bring Team Director Tomohiro Yamamoto on board to run the team, and GT500 Championship-winning engineer, Kotaro Tanaka, will serve as the team’s Technical Advisor. Shintaro Watanabe, Cars Tokai Dream28’s Chief Engineer since at least 2006, will remain as Chief Engineer of the newly reconstituted team.