Matsushita 'surprised but happy' about Honda SUPER GT offer

Nobuharu Matsushita admits he was “surprised” to be offered a Honda SUPER GT drive for the 2022 season after a season driving for Nissan.

Listen to this article

Ex-Formula 2 racer Matsushita made his debut in SUPER GT’s top GT500 class last year driving for the Impul Nissan team, sharing the Calsonic-liveried GT-R with Kazuki Hiramine.

But he retained links to his former backer Honda, which supported his F2 campaigns in 2015-17 and 2019, by driving in Super Formula for B-Max Racing.

On Friday, it was announced that Matsushita will join Koudai Tsukakoshi at the wheel of Real Racing’s #17 NSX-GT for 2022, as he makes his debut as a fully-fledged factory Honda driver.

He replaces Bertrand Baguette, who is expected to move in the other direction and take the vacated spot at Impul.

“I was made the offer after the SUPER GT season finished,” Matsushita told's Japanese edition when asked about the circumstances of the move. “Originally I was a Honda driver, but I was surprised to get that offer while I was still driving for Nissan.

“There were a lot of things to consider, so I couldn’t say yes right away, but honestly I was happy [Real Racing] is a team that’s always fighting at the top, so by joining them I can get closer to my goal of becoming champion.

“I think it was for that reason they invited me here, so I’ll focus on getting results and give it my all.”

Matsushita also said he has "high expectations" for Real Racing's chief engineer Yasuhiro Tasaka, with whom he worked with B-Max in Super Formula last year.


Matsushita helped to end a five-year winless streak for Impul last season, as he and Hiramine took the top spot at Sugo.

The pair ended up as the top Nissan crew in the championship, beating NISMO pairing Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda by four points – also marking Impul’s best championship finish since 2015.

Matsushita was keen to pay tribute to Impul boss and Japanese racing great Kazuyoshi Hoshino when asked to sum up his time at the team.

“I’m honoured and blessed to have raced for Hoshino-san,” he said. “Because he is a legend of Japanese racing, the way he puts his heart into racing is different from other people.

“I hope I can take that with me to Honda, add my own originality and do my best.”


New Toyota GR86 SUPER GT car produces "amazing" downforce

How SUPER GT helped heal Kovalainen’s F1 "scars"