Last year we talked about two of the biggest touring car series’, the Japanese Super GT and Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), working to join forces in a head-to-head duke-out for supremacy. The series’ have been chatting about it since 2015, and now, after nearly four years in the making, it’s going to happen at the final race of the current DTM season (5–6 October) with three Super GT wild card entries to be sent across from Japan to Germany.
The three major GT500 manufacturers will all field one car, with Kiwi driver Nick Cassidy being called on alongside current co-driver Ryo¯ Hirakawa to pilot the LC500 for Lexus. It will be the first time that Cassidy has returned to the Hockenheimring since racing in the now defunct FIA European Formula 3 Championship.
Honda is to be represented by Jenson Button in an NSX-GT, while Nissan has a GT-R entry that will be piloted by Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda. All three manufacturers go up against established DTM powerhouses the likes of BMW, Audi and Aston Martin, however, for the initial format, the Super GT cars will not feature the drag-reduction systems (DRSs) of the DTM cars. From 2020, both DTM and Super GT will run to Class 1 regulations that will make cars from either series eligible to race on both parts of the map.
Come late November, up to 10 German cars are expected to join the Super GT grid for a non-championship race at Fuji Speedway.