LEON Mercedes SUPER GT team refreshes driver line-up

Mercedes squad LEON Racing has announced a refreshed driver line-up for the 2022 SUPER GT season, with Takuro Shinohara joining the team.

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Shinohara will partner Naoya Gamou at the wheel of the team's solo Bridgestone-shod Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, replacing Togo Suganami.

The change follows a tough season for the 2018 GT300 title-winning outfit, which ended up sixth in this year's standings with no victories but second-place finishes in the first and last races of the year.

Suganami had originally joined LEON in the middle of the 2019 season as a replacement for Haruki Kurosawa, who stepped back into a team director role.

"In 2021 we had good results in the first and last races of the season, but we had some tough races in the middle of the season," said Kurosawa. "In 2022 I want to fight strongly also in the middle of the season and accumulate points to ensure we can fight for the championship.

"With our 'ace' Gamou at the centre, we'll work together with our long-time partners Bridgestone to develop even better tyres and work hard to achieve our final goal of winning the championship."

Shinohara made his full-time SUPER GT debut this year after winning the TCR Japan title in 2020, partnering Shintaro Kawabata at the Hitotsuyama Audi team and scoring a win at Motegi.

"I'm really grateful to be given the chance to join K2 R&D LEON Racing," said the 27-year-old. "I want to learn from team director Kurosawa and Gamou and aim to win the championship.

"I'm really looking forward to racing as part of such a great team structure and I'm happy to become a member of the team."

Suganami's plans for the 2022 SUPER GT season remain unclear following his split with LEON.

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