The GT Association (GTA) has announced the calendar for the upcoming 2022 Autobacs Super GT Series, which will consist of the standard eight rounds all held exclusively within Japan at the six major domestic racing circuits. This includes Fuji Speedway and Suzuka Circuit, which will each have two dates on the calendar.
The season will begin on the weekend of 17 April at Okayama International Circuit, and the final round will be held at Twin Ring Motegi on the weekend of 6 November.
Fuji Speedway will host the annual Golden Week holiday event, the Fuji GT 500km Race, on Wednesday, 4 May. The Fuji GT 500 Mile Race, revived in 2018-19 but shelved for the last two seasons due to Fuji Speedway’s obligations as a venue of the summer Olympic and Paralympic games, will also make its return on the weekend of 7 August as the fourth round of the season.
Suzuka Circuit will host the third and fifth rounds of the year, on the weekends of 29 May and 28 August, respectively. The timing of the second Suzuka date is something to note, as it is the traditional late Summer date of the Suzuka 10 Hours (and its predecessor, the Suzuka 1000km) – which is absent from the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) provisional 2022 calendar, indicating the very likely possibility that the Intercontinental GT Challenge’s annual visit to Suzuka may be shelved for the third consecutive year.
Supplementing the calendar are the series’ visits to Sportsland Sugo on 11 September, and Autopolis International Racing Course on 2 October, the sixth and seventh rounds of the season.
During the most recent Super GT race at Motegi, GTA Chairman Masaaki Bandoh said that he planned to extend the distance of each race by around 50 to 60 kilometres, in an effort to encourage the development of engines with better fuel economy. Per the JAF provisional calendar, all events on the 2022 calendar, apart from the Fuji 500km and Fuji 500 Miles, will be the standard 300 kilometre distance – or at the very least, will be promoted and advertised as such.
Chairman Bandoh has also reinforced his commitment to returning to Sepang Circuit in Malaysia and Chang International Circuit in Thailand in the future. In his pre-race press conference at Motegi, Bandoh said that Super GT is considering hosting a “winter series” in early 2023.
2022 Autobacs Super GT Series Schedule (pending FIA and JAF ratification)
15-17 April: Okayama International Circuit (300km)
2-4 May: Fuji Speedway (500km)
27-29 May: Suzuka Circuit (300km)
5-7 August: Fuji Speedway (500 miles)
26-28 August: Suzuka Circuit (300km)
9-11 September: Sportsland Sugo (300km)
30 September-2 October: Autopolis International Racing Course (300km)|
4-6 November: Twin Ring Motegi (300km)