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New BRZ GT300 Headlines Subaru Racing Activities In 2021

Livery reveal and public shakedown test held at Fuji Speedway on Monday, but no N24 programme in '21

Two months after Subaru’s next-generation GT300 racing car broke cover at Fuji Speedway, the new 2021 BRZ GT300 had its proper grand unveiling at Fuji on Monday – as Subaru announced their full range of domestic motor racing activities for the season, which will largely centre around their Autobacs Super GT Series programme.

A shakedown test was held that afternoon at Fuji and broadcast via YouTube, and drivers Takuto Iguchi and Hideki Yamauchi gave their feedback on the car and took part in a number of interviews as part of the broadcast.

Subaru describes the new BRZ GT300 as a “lightweight cornering machine,” and in their press release, adds that the redesigned BRZ “incorporates all the technology and knowledge that Subaru has developed over the years in racing. With this car, the team aims to gain points in every race to win the championship.”

The new BRZ will be built on the same GT300 technical regulations as the first-generation BRZ GT300 racer, which competed from 2012 to 2020 and won its class in the Suzuka 1000km two times (2013 and 2016), but was unable to win the GT300 Championship in its nine years of service. R&D Sport will continue to run Subaru’s factory GT300 efforts out of their garage in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, extending a partnership that began in the 2009 season.

The new car will continue to run on Dunlop (Sumitomo Rubber) tyres, Subaru’s seventh season with Dunlop.

It was already confirmed on 18 February that R&D Sport will retain the lineup of Iguchi (above, left) and Yamauchi (above, right) as their drivers in 2021, their seventh season together as teammates. Together, they’ve scored two race wins, ten podiums, and 23 top-ten finishes despite battling through a number of reliability issues that have impeded their championship pursuits. In 2020, they finished 5th in the GT300 Drivers’ Championship, their best result as a tandem – with podiums at Fuji on 9 August and Motegi on 13 September.

New Team General Manager, Masahiro Ozawa, will succeed Makoto Shibuya in running the team for 2021. Ozawa was part of Subaru’s World Rally Championship programme in the early 2000s, through their withdrawal in 2008 – and remained part of Subaru & STI through the end of 2015, where he left the company due to personal reasons. At the request of Shibuya, Ozawa returned to Subaru/STI last season to head up their engine department and helped the ageing, yet capable EJ20 turbocharged flat-four engine gain reliability throughout last season.

Unfortunately, the other pillar of Subaru’s circuit racing programmes has been shelved for yet another year: Despite unveiling an updated version of the SP3T-class WRX STI NBR in a January shakedown, Subaru announced that they will not take part in this year’s Nürburgring 24 Hours, owing to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic that forced them to abandon plans to enter the race in 2020.

Toyota Gazoo Racing announced on 12 February that they would not take part in the N24 for a second successive year, also due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Images courtesy of Subaru