Alesi poised for shock TOM'S Toyota SUPER GT move

Giuliano Alesi appears set for a shock promotion to the title-winning TOM’S Toyota team in SUPER GT for the 2022 season. 

Motorsport.com understands Alesi is poised to take over Yuhi Sekiguchi’s seat in what was the #36 Toyota GR Supra – but is likely to run as the #1 car in 2022 - alongside Sho Tsuboi. 

Sekiguchi would then take over the seat vacated by the retiring Heikki Kovalainen at the SARD Toyota squad, joining Yuichi Nakayama in the #39 car. 

Alesi made his SUPER GT debut this season driving for the Team Thailand Lexus squad in the GT300 class this season, partnering Sean Walkinshaw for the entire season as the team’s regular driver Nattapong Horthongkum couldn’t enter Japan. 

It’s understood Alesi has reached a deal with Toyota that will see him drive in both SUPER GT and Super Formula for TOM’S in 2022, most likely replacing veteran Kazuki Nakajima in the latter category. 

That has torpedoed any hopes of Sacha Fenestraz moving up from Kondo Racing to TOM’S in Super Formula, although the Frenchman will stay in the team’s #37 car in SUPER GT for a second season. 

With Ryo Hirakawa leaving SUPER GT to join Toyota’s FIA World Endurance Championship roster full-time, Ritomo Miyata is the leading candidate to join Fenestraz aboard the #37 TOM’S car. 

 

The gap at Racing Project Bandoh alongside Yuji Kunimoto would then be filled by Sena Sakaguchi, who deputised for Fenestraz in the #37 car for the first five races of this year. 

Both Rookie Racing (Kazuya Oshima/Kenta Yamashita) and Cerumo (Yuji Tachikawa/Hiroaki Ishiura) appear set to maintain unchanged line-ups for 2022. 

Baguette set to join Nissan after leaving Honda 

Elsewhere, it has emerged that Bertrand Baguette is likely to join the Nissan SUPER GT stable for 2022 following his departure from Honda. 

 

Baguette announced on Wednesday that his eight-year association with Honda has come to an end, with current Impul Nissan driver Nobuharu Matsushita looking odds on to replace him in the Real Racing squad alongside Koudai Tsukakoshi. 

Matsushita is set to rekindle his previous long-standing relationship with Honda after having rejected the chance to represent the brand in SUPER GT and Super Formula in 2020, while ending his alliance with Nissan after just a single season.

It’s understood that Baguette will be in action on Monday for Nissan’s annual ‘driver shootout’ test at Fuji Speedway – although a deal is likely to have already been agreed for the Belgian to take Matsushita's place in the Impul car alongside Kazuki Hiramine. 

Honda looks set to keep its other four line-ups intact for another season, while Nissan could still opt to promote Kondo Racing GT300 driver Kiyoto Fujinami to a GT500 seat depending on the outcome of Monday’s test. 

Possible 2022 SUPER GT grid (GT500 class):

Manufacturer

Team

Tyre

No.

Drivers

Nissan

 

 

 

NISMO

Michelin

23

Italy Ronnie Quintarelli

Japan Tsugio Matsuda

NDDP/B-Max Racing

Michelin

3

Japan Kohei Hirate

Japan Katsumasa Chiyo

Team impul

Bridgestone

12

Belgium Bertrand Baguette

Japan Kazuki Hiramine

Kondo Racing

Yokohama

24

Japan Mitsunori Takaboshi

Japan Daiki Sasaki

Japan Kiyoto Fujinami?

Toyota

 

 

 

 

 

TOM’S


 

 

Bridgestone

 

36

(1)

France Giuliano Alesi

Japan Sho Tsuboi

37

Japan Ritomo Miyata

France Sacha Fenestraz

Racing Project Bandoh

Yokohama

19

Japan Yuji Kunimoto

Japan Sena Sakaguchi

SARD

Bridgestone

39

Japan Yuhi Sekiguchi

Japan Yuichi Nakayama

Cerumo

Bridgestone

38

Japan Hiroaki Ishiura

Japan Yuji Tachikawa

Rookie Racing

Bridgestone

14

Japan Kazuya Oshima

Japan Kenta Yamashita

Honda

 

 

 

 

Team Kunimitsu

Bridgestone

100

Japan Naoki Yamamoto

Japan Tadasuke Makino

ARTA

Bridgestone

8

Japan Tomoki Nojiri

Japan Nirei Fukuzumi

Real Racing

Bridgestone

17

Japan Koudai Tsukakoshi

Japan Nobuharu Matsushita

Team Mugen

Dunlop

16

Japan Toshiki Oyu

Japan Ukyo Sasahara

Nakajima Racing

Dunlop

64

Japan Takuya Izawa

Japan Hiroki Otsu

shares
comments
Toyota considers abandoning Supra low-downforce concept
Previous article

Toyota considers abandoning Supra low-downforce concept

Next article

Nissan went "over the limit" in search of engine gains

Nissan went "over the limit" in search of engine gains
Load comments