The Tin Championship has announced grand plans for two overseas races in 2020, with Thailand’s annual stage in Buriram joined by a night race on the Sepang International Track in Malaysia.
However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic halted the international expansion of the SUPER GT, ending a series of annual championship competitions abroad that began in 2002.
It was hoped that with the ease of travel restrictions and the wide availability of vaccines against COVID-19 Thailand and Malaysia will be able to launch the 2023 campaign in January and February before the cars are shipped back to Japan for the remaining six rounds of the season.
However, now it is getting harder, and Bando believes that the SUPER GT will compete exclusively in Japan for the fourth year in a row.
“As for overseas races, given the logistics, I think it’s still difficult,” Bando said. “It has become a little easier to enter Malaysia, but there are still restrictions on entry to Thailand.
“I think we’ll tell you right on the next race in Suzuka, but at the moment it looks pretty tricky.”
Start GT500: № 18 Weider Honda Racing Honda HSV-010 GT: Takashi Gogure, Carla Van Dam leads
Photo: Eric Gilbert
Malaysia first joined the SUPER GT calendar in 2002 after holding an exhibition event two years earlier, expanding the scope of the series, then known as the All-Japan Grand Car Championship outside their homeland.
Thailand replaced Malaysia in 2013 with an annual race on the newly built Buriram track, and the race contract was extended in a new multi-year deal just before the 2020 season.
Malaysia itself has signed a new contract with the SUPER GT in 2018, and the plan was to hold a night race under the new floodlights of the Sepang track from 2020, as part of the Buriram event.
However, as both races are virtually ruled out for another year, it is expected that the SUPER GT 2023 calendar will again feature the same six tracks in Japan, namely, Suzuka, Fuji, Akayama, Motegi, Suga and Autopolis – with some venues activities. .