On July 28, the GT Association (GTA), the promoter of the Autobacs Super GT Series, announced the provisional schedule for the 2018 Super GT season.
The 2018 calendar consists of eight races, seven of which will be held domestically in Japan, and one single fly-away round in Thailand. Among the highlights of the new calendar include the return of the Suzuka GT 300km Race on May 19-20, and several existing rounds moving places in the calendar.
2018 will be a landmark season for Super GT – it will be the 25th full season of the series that began in 1994 as the All Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC), with its current dual-class structure consisting of what has now evolved into GT500 and GT300.
In keeping with the theme of a sports car racing landscape that is in a constant state of flux, the Super GT calendar has changed for the upcoming season.
For the ninth consecutive season, the season will open at Okayama International Circuit, on April 7-8, and conclude at Twin Ring Motegi, on November 10-11.
While all seven venues remain on the calendar together for a fifth consecutive season, the major change occurs with regards to the order and the distance of the events. After the 2017 season, the Suzuka 1000km will be transformed into the Suzuka 10 Hours, and change hands from Super GT to the Stéphane Ratel Organisation (SRO).
For 2018, the round at Suzuka Circuit will move to May 19-20, hosting the third round of the championship. It will also be a standard 300 kilometer race, according to the comments made by GTA chairman, Masaaki Bandoh, this past Sunday at Sportsland Sugo. The Suzuka GT 300km Race was previously held from 1995 to 2010.
The Buriram Super GT Race at Chang International Circuit, Thailand, will move to a new date on June 30 & July 1, moving up to the fourth round of the season. The Sugo GT 300km Race moves to September 15-16 as the sixth round, while the Super GT in Kyushu 300km at Autopolis moves to October 20-21 to host the penultimate round of the season.
Fuji Speedway will continue to host two events in 2018, starting with the Golden Week classic, the Fuji GT 500km Race, on its traditional dates of May 3-4. The second race at Fuji will remain on the Summer Series, on August 4-5, to be contested over an undetermined distance.
2018 Autobacs Super GT Series provisional calendar
|1||April 7 – 8||Okayama International Circuit|
|2||May 3 – 4||Fuji Speedway|
|3||May 19 – 20||Suzuka Circuit|
|4||June 30 – July 1||Chang International Circuit (Thailand)|
|5||August 4 -5||Fuji Speedway|
|6||September 15 – 16||Sportsland SUGO|
|7||October 20 – 21||Autopolis|
|8||November 10 – 11||Twin Ring Motegi|
Subject to the approval of the FIA and Japan Automobile Federation (JAF). Schedule subject to change to accomodate other World Championship races.