The Intercontinental GT Challenge pays a visit to Japan this weekend for the 10 Hours of Suzuka, the penultimate round of the season. This much-anticipated race has attracted 36 crews and 13 manufacturers, including Ferrari, with three 488 GT3s due to start.
Target victory. The teams fielding Prancing Horse cars are seeking some payback, especially after the tricky and unfortunate appearance at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. This setback came after Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy’s victory in the Pro-Am class inthe Ferrari Spirit of Race at the 12 Hours of Bathurst, the opening outing of the series, followed by the overall win of the 488 GT3 of HubAuto Corsa crewed by Nick Foster, Tim Slade and Miguel Molina in an intense 8 Hours of California.
HubAuto Corsa. Among the Ferrari teams at Spa, HubAuto Corsa is the one that takes part in the entire season of the International GT Challenge. The team looks competitive, with its car in the capable hands of the 2016 and 2017 Super GT champions Nick Cassidy and Heikki Kovalainen alongside Australian Nick Foster. Last year, also with one car in the Pro-Am class, HubAuto Corsa took pole with Nick Foster, David Perel and Hiroki Yoshida.
Car Guy Racing. In the Pro class, hopes are also high for the 488 GT3 of Japanese team Car Guy Racing, crewed by two official GT competition drivers James Calado and Miguel Molina alongside Kei Cozzolino. James Calado is returning to the team with which he secured the Asian Le Mans Series title, winning all four races alongside Cozzolino and Takeshi Kimura. Miguel Molina, however, joins the Japanese team after winning the 8 Hours of California in the colours of HubAuto Corsa.
apr with ARN Racing. The third Ferrari will fly the flag of apr with ARN Racing in the Silver class. The Suzuka race marks the Japanese team’s return to Prancing Horse cars. Hiroaki Nagai, Manabu Orido and Yuta Kamimura will alternate behindthe wheel of the 488 GT3 no. 8.
Programme. The track programme opens on Friday with a free practice session, held during the day from 2:10 pm to 4:10 pm and under artificial light, from 6:30 pm to 8 pm. On Saturday morning, from 9:15 am to 10:15 am, the teams will have a chance to prepare the cars for the qualifying sessions. Qualifying will follow the usual formula of three 15-minute sessions for the three drivers entered for each crew, with the first starting at 1 pm and the last at 2 pm. The top 20 will compete for pole position from 5:30 pm to 5:50 pm. The 10-hour race sets off at 10 am local time, 3 am in Italy.