Firstly, what we did come across out: in Super GT, there was the announcement of a ‘new model’ of NSX-GT to be utilized in the GT500 course this calendar year, a obvious reference to the NSX Sort S-based mostly car that has now been spied tests at Motegi even if the automobile alone continues to be formally beneath wraps.
There was also the driver line-up, which verified the broadly anticipated return to the Honda fold for Nobuharu Matsushita just after a time at Nissan.
Also in Tremendous System, the driver roster was exposed, albeit with two TBAs outlined and a new staff – Crew Goh – that did not challenge any formal communique of its very own until finally Tuesday.
Before this week we wrote about Crew Goh’s split from Mugen and who could fill its next cockpit. Due to the fact them, staff manager Kazuhiro Ikeda has taken to Twitter to clarify the driver will be Japanese simply because of ongoing travel limits, in a enhance to Ukyo Sasahara’s hopes of landing the seat.
But there stays some intrigue encompassing Goh’s only verified driver Ren Sato, who was conspicuously absent from Honda’s Tremendous GT roster.
Intrigue surrounds the status of equally of ARTA’s 2021 GT300 motorists, Ren Sato (L) and Shinichi Takagi (R).
As a reminder, Sato was in the dock following very last year’s Fuji Speedway finale right after he crashed into Naoki Yamamoto’s Crew Kunimitsu NSX-GT, an mistake that destroyed not only Yamamoto’s title hopes but Honda’s chances of its initial again-to-back again GT500 titles.
That error appears to have cost Sato his seat in Tremendous GT for the time getting at minimum, as his position aboard the #55 ARTA NSX GT3 for 2022 has been taken by a different Honda junior driver, Iori Kimura.
We have still to listen to an explanation from Honda or Sato himself about this make a difference, which is designed all the more puzzling by the 20-12 months-old’s simultaneous promotion from Tremendous System Lights to Tremendous Formula subsequent an look in final month’s Suzuka rookie take a look at.
It’s hard to feel of any other explanation for replacing Sato – who at the very least proved his pace, even if his consistency was lacking – other than the optics of what occurred at Fuji. But whether we’ll ever get appropriate clarification from Honda is yet another subject.
The other improve in ARTA’s GT300 line-up is long-time Honda GT500 guy and ex-IndyCar racer Hideki Mutoh changing Shinichi Takagi.
Whilst this move is much more logical thinking about Takagi’s advancing several years, there was no definitive phrase as to no matter whether his replacement by Mutoh properly marks the close of the 51-yr-old’s prolonged and distinguished Tremendous GT job.
Takagi’s most recent GT300 title achievement came in 2019, when he shared ARTA’s NSX GT3 with Nirei Fukuzumi.
Takagi’s identify even so did seem in one more intriguing area – on a press launch naming Kimura as a B-Max Tremendous Components Lights driver.
The arrival of Kimura, as perfectly as Takagi staying named B-Max SF Lights team supervisor, indicates that B-Max is deepening its ties with Super Method engine provider Honda this yr at the price of its extensive-standing alliance with Nissan.
Motorsport.com described last 7 days that B-Max has finished its involvement in Nissan’s Tremendous GT programme, with NISMO poised to just take in excess of the working of the #3 motor vehicle that had been functioning under the ‘NDDP Racing by B-Max’ banner.
B-Max has a background of operating Nissan junior motorists in All-Japan Components 3, the forerunner to Tremendous System Lights, notably taking Mitsunori Takaboshi to the title in 2017. In fact, Takaboshi took a supervisor function in the team past calendar year together with his Nissan GT500 generate.
But now the team’s Super System driver Nobuharu Matsushita has remaining Nissan to come to be a absolutely-fledged Honda manufacturing facility driver, it would make sense that B-Max would gravitate to the Sakura producer and absent from Nissan.
B-Max is aiming to operate a next Honda-run car alongside Matsushita this period.
Russian-Japanese driver Kimura racing for B-Max in SF Lights expands Honda’s footprint in the aid collection, with Kakunoshin Ota also stepping up to change Sato at Toda Racing – the Honda junior crew of preference in current seasons.
Kimura was Honda’s finest-positioned junior driver in Japanese Formulation 4 previous calendar year, as he scored four wins en route to 3rd in the standings. Ota was fifth with 4 2nd-put finishes, just one location forward of Shun Koide, who joined Kimura and Ota in last year’s end-of-year Super Formulation Lights test but appears to have missed out on a race travel.
Ota also joins Kimura on Honda’s GT300 roster in Tremendous GT, as he will take about from Teppei Natori as Takashi Kobayashi’s lover at Staff UpGarage.
With Sato on the sidelines in Super GT, Kimura and Ota the two have an opportunity to verify they deserve to emulate the latest Honda GT300 graduates Nirei Fukuzumi and Toshiki Oyu and stake a declare to a GT500 advertising.