On Monday, the entry list was officially confirmed for the much-anticipated inaugural running of the Super GT x DTM Dream Race, taking place at historic Fuji Speedway on the weekend of 23-24 November, 2019.
This crossover race of the fastest silhouette GT racing series and the fastest silhouette touring car series is one that has been a decade in the making, from the time that Super GT and DTM first discussed a unified set of technical regulations that would come to be known as Class One. And after three GT500 teams made the trip to Germany to take part in the DTM’s final race meeting at the Hockenheimring, Audi and BMW will send a select group of their own factory drivers to race against the GT500 field in the first joint exhibition race under the Class One regulations.
All fifteen GT500 teams from the Autobacs Super GT Series will take part, as previously confirmed, along with four Audi RS5 DTMs and three BMW M4 DTMs.
Audi will field cars for reigning two-time DTM champion Rene Rast (#33) and 2013 DTM champion Mike Rockenfeller (#99), as well as 2010 GT500 Champion Loic Duval (#28) and 2008 GT500 Champion Benoit Treluyer (#21) – the latter two will be welcomed back to Japan for the first time in over three years, since they last raced in the WEC 6 Hours of Fuji for Audi.
BMW will counter with two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann (#11), reigning 24 Hours of Daytona winner Kamui Kobayashi (#00), and four-time Paralympic Gold Medalist and longtime BMW racer Alex Zanardi (#4) – the number he wore when he won back-to-back CART World Series titles in 1997-98.
Jenson Button already drove his final race in the Motegi GT 250km, with his commitments to drive in this year’s Baja 1000 prohibiting him from making his farewell from the series in the Dream Race. We also know that Bertrand Baguette will not take part in the Dream Race, as he will take part in the SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge season finale, the Kyalami 9 Hours, for Honda Team Motul.
Therefore, Naoki Yamamoto will drive both races in the #1 Raybrig NSX-GT for Team Kunimitsu, and Koudai Tsukakoshi will likewise, drive both races in the #17 Keihin NSX-GT for Real Racing. Speaking of which, this will also be the final race for a midship GT500 car, as the current Honda NSX-GT will be replaced with a front-engined “Class 1+ɑ” version for 2020. It’ll also be the last race for the Lexus nameplate in GT500, with the Toyota GR Supra taking the place of the current LC500 next year.
For the other 13 teams, their driver lineups will look like this for the Saturday and Sunday races:
Saturday, 23 November
6 – Kenta Yamashita (2019 GT500 Drivers’ Champion)
8- Takuya Izawa
12 – Daiki Sasaki
16 – Hideki Mutoh
19 – Sho Tsuboi
23 – Ronnie Quintarelli (Four-time GT500 Drivers’ Champion)
24 – Jann Mardenborough
36 – Yuhi Sekiguchi
37 – Nick Cassidy (2019 Super Formula Champion)
38 – Yuji Tachikawa (Three-time GT500 Drivers’ Champion)
39 – Yuichi Nakayama
64 – Tadasuke Makino
Sunday, 24 November
6 – Kazuya Oshima (2019 GT500 Drivers’ Champion)
8 – Tomoki Nojiri
12 – James Rossiter
16 – Daisuke Nakajima
19 – Yuji Kunimoto
23 – Tsugio Matsuda (GT500 career wins leader)
24 – Mitsunori Takaboshi
36 – Kazuki Nakajima (2018-19 World Endurance Drivers’ Champion, two-time Le Mans 24 Hours overall winner)
37 – Ryo Hirakawa
38 – Hiroaki Ishiura
39 – Heikki Kovalainen
64 – Narain Karthikeyan
Both races will be 55 minutes long, plus one lap – with up to an additional three laps that can be added in case of a Safety Car intervention. There will be one pit stop for a change of all four Hankook Ventus tyres, which all 22 cars will use – and no refuelling or driver changes will take place. The Drag Reduction System (DRS) and Push-to-Pass systems from DTM will not be used.
Practice will take place on Friday 22 November, with qualifying taking place on Saturday and Sunday morning to set the grids for the respective races. A detailed schedule with start times for each session will be announced in the days to come.