Intercontinental GT Challenge, round 3, Suzuka 10 Hours, Suzuka/Japan
Five Porsche 911 GT3 R racers will tackle the Suzuka 10 Hours on 26 August. For the first time, the 47th running of the Summer Endurance Race on Japan’s Grand Prix circuit counts towards the Intercontinental GT Challenge. Manthey-Racing, Craft-Bamboo Racing and Black Swan Racing will each field one 911 GT3 R, with D’station Racing campaigning two vehicles. All four Porsche customer teams receive support from works drivers and engineers from Weissach at the endurance highlight in Asia. Seven works drivers and one Porsche Young Professional share driving duties in the ca. 500-hp vehicles. Currently, 35 race cars are entered for the race on the 5.807-kilometre Suzuka Circuit. The field is made up predominantly of vehicles that comply with FIA GT3 regulations and cars from the GT300 class of the Japanese Super GT Series.
New on the 2018 calendar, the Suzuka 10 Hours marks round three of the Intercontinental GT Challenge. The first edition of the race was held here in 1966. This year’s race will be contested over ten hours instead of the previous 1,000 kilometres as support to the Super GT. Last season, around 45,000 spectators witnessed the Summer Endurance Race on the high-speed circuit in the Mie Prefecture.
The Porsche drivers
Just like at the 24 Hours of Spa, the regular Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup factory drivers Romain Dumas, Frédéric Makowiecki (both France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) will tackle the race for Manthey-Racing. Also contesting the Pro class for professional drivers are Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium), Kévin Estre and Porsche Young Professional Mathieu Jaminet (both France). The trio share the cockpit of the 911 GT3 R fielded by Craft-Bamboo Racing, which also took on the season-opening race at Bathurst, Australia. In the Pro car fielded by D’station Racing, Earl Bamber (New Zealand) joins forces with local hero Tomonobu Fujii as well as his works driver colleague Sven Müller (Germany), who is contesting his second complete Super GT seasons for the Japanese customer team this year.
The Porsche 911 GT3 R
The 911 GT3 R was designed by Porsche for worldwide GT3 series. Mounted with the ultra-modern, four-litre flat-six engine with direct fuel injection, the 368 kW (500 hp) customer sports racer celebrated its race debut in January 2016 at the Daytona 24-hour race. Since then, the car has notched up victories in numerous international racing series, for example in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, the World Challenge, the ADAC GT Masters, and at the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring.
The Suzuka 10 Hours takes off on Sunday, 26 August, at 10:00 hrs local time (03:00 hrs CEST) and can be viewed live on the website of the Intercontinental GT Challenge at www.intercontinentalgtchallenge.com.
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