SUPER GT may extend length of 450km races for 2023
SUPER GT has outlined an intention to extend the length long-distance events in 2023 after successfully trialling the 450km format this year.
The Japanese sportscar series ran three 450km races in 2022, two at Fuji Speedway and one at Suzuka, in addition to the regular 300km events that make up the rest of the current schedule.
Encouraging engine suppliers and tyre manufacturers to focus on durability instead of outright performance was the motivation behind the change, which has had a positive reception in the paddock.
GTA chairman Masaaki Bandoh suggested in his regular pre-race press conference earlier this month at Sugo that the series could make the 450km races slightly longer in the name of widening strategy options.
He said that an announcement in this regard is planned for the final round of the season at Motegi on November 5-6.
"The three 450km races were good to have to help us formulate the roadmap for 2023," said Bandoh. "But to make sure strategy options don't become too narrow, we may need to make it '450km plus alpha'.
"When we think in terms of creating events, instead of having a non-round number, it may be easier to understand if we go with something like '100 Laps'."
Last year, Bandoh floated the idea of making the current standard race distance of 300km longer across the board, but this idea appears to be off the table at least for the 2023 season.
However, he said the championship is open to adopting a wider range of distances in future once measures have been implemented to reduce the championship's carbon footprint.
Asked by Motorsport.com if making all 300km races longer remains an option for next year, Bandoh replied: "Doing so would mean using more fuel, and this would increase carbon dioxide emissions.
"But if we are able to realise carbon neutrality, then we would like to have race distances outside of the current 300km and 450km distances, but not as long as 1000km, that will make the spectators happy."
SUPER GT announced at the start of the current season plans to introduce carbon-neutral fuel across the board for 2023, but a planned post-race test at Suzuka in August was postponed due to logistical issues.
A further update on the introduction of the fuel is expected at Motegi.
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