Our friends at Endurance-Info were in Japan last weekend, for the famous 1000 km of Suzuka, the stellar event of the Super GT.On site they had a very interesting interview with Mr Masaaki Bandoh, president of the GTA (Grand Touring Association), the man behind Super GT. As is already known, both the DTM and the Super GT agreed to begin developing an unified set of rules starting from 2014. Lexus, Honda and Nissan recently unveiled their 2014 GT500 cars. These cars are described as "compatible" to race in the DTM. Currently the new Japanese GT500 and DTM cars are not yet completely identical. The new GT500 chassis' are in accordance with the DTM, but the engine regulations will differ in Japan and Germany during 2014, with identical unified rules being introduced in the years to come.
In the interview with Endurance-Info, Mr Masaaki Bandoh mentioned his desire to see some DTM cars from Germany competing in GT500 next year, in order to see how equal the two concepts are. The same also for the Japanese cars, as he is hoping to see ITR allowing some GT500 car appearances as wildcard entries in the German Touring Car Masters during 2014.
There is great interest from all six brands involved (Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Nissan and Lexus/Toyota), to compete in the two major series. The Audi R8 LMS ultra is already racing there, but only in the GT300 class. A presence in the upper GT500 class would be even greater. Audi Japan is already doing very well and has a competitive presence, and battling with the Japanese brands on their home ground would be an extra boost for the Ingolstadt brand in the land of rising sun.
Does this mean that we will see the Audi RS 5 DTM competing in Super GT next year? Only time will tell, and we have to wait for Audi Sport's annual announcements later this year.
By Tarek Ramchani
Photo credit: Audi Media