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Ferrari drops off SUPER GT grid as Pacific switches to Mercedes

Pacific Racing has announced that it will campaign a Mercedes-AMG GT3 in SUPER GT this season following the end of its partnership with CarGuy Racing.

#9 PACIFIC hololive NAC Ferrari

Pacific, which has run Ferrari machinery in conjunction with CarGuy in SUPER GT's GT300 class for the past two seasons (pictured above), appeared on the full-season entry list released by the Japanese championship last week, but with its car model and drivers yet to be announced.

Now the squad has announced that it will run a Yokohama-shod Mercedes this season, effectively confirming that Ferrari will be absent from the SUPER GT grid for the first time since 2020.

Motoki Jinno continues to serve as team boss, while maintenance is handled by Gifu Prefecture-based Nakanihon Automotive College.

SUPER GT veteran Ryohei Sakaguchi spearheads the driver line-up for the #9 car, moving across from Arnage Racing. He previously drove for Pacific in 2015-16, when it ran McLaren and then Porsche machinery.

Sakaguchi is joined by Chinese racer Liang Jiatong, who has experience in categories such as International GT Open and Lamborghini Super Trofeo.

Shintaro Kawabata, who previously drove for the Hitotsuyama Audi squad, will serve as third driver.

Elsewhere, R'Qs Motor Sports has announced its plans for the 2023 season. Veteran duo Hisashi Wada and Masaki Jyonai continue together in the team's Arnage-run Mercedes, joined by new third driver Masaki Kano.

Kano shared the Arnage Toyota 86 Mother Chassis entry with Sakaguchi for the majority of last season.

An entry list for next month's official pre-season test at Okayama also has gentleman drivers Taiyo Ida and Yuki Tanaka listed as the line-up for Nissan squad NILZZ Racing, which had yet to announce its drivers.

Team LeMans meanwhile has ex-Super Formula Lights racer Seiya Jin listed as a third driver for the test alongside its regular pairing of Roberto Merhi and Yoshiaki Katayama aboard its Audi R8 LMS GT3.

All 42 cars entered for the season are set to take part in the test on March 11-12.

SUPER GT Okayama test GT300 entry list: 

No. Team Car Tyre Drivers
2 Muta Racing Inging Toyota GR86 GT Bridgestone

Japan Yuui Tsutsumi

Japan Hibiki Taira

4 Goodsmile Racing & Team Ukyo Mercedes-AMG GT3 Yokohama

Japan Nobuteru Taniguchi

Japan Tatsuya Kataoka

5 Team Mach Toyota 86 MC Yokohama

Japan Yusuke Tomibayashi

Japan Takamitsu Matsui

6 Team LeMans Audi R8 LMS GT3 Yokohama

Spain Roberto Merhi

Japan Yoshiaki Katayama

Japan Seiya Jin

7 BMW Team Studie BMW M4 GT3 Michelin

Japan Seiji Ara

Canada Bruno Spengler

9 Pacific Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Yokohama

Japan Ryohei Sakaguchi

China Liang Jiatong

Japan Shintaro Kawabata

10 Gainer Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 Dunlop

Japan Hironobu Yasuda

Japan Riki Okusa

11 Gainer Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 Dunlop

Japan Ryuichiro Tomita

Japan Keishi Ishikawa

Japan Yusuke Shiotsu

18 Team UpGarage Honda NSX GT3 Yokohama

Japan Takashi Kobayashi

Japan Shun Koide

20 Shade Racing Toyota GR86 GT Dunlop

Japan Katsuyuki Hiranaka

Japan Eijiro Shimizu

Japan Shinnosuke Yamada

22 R'Qs Motor Sports Mercedes-AMG GT3 Yokohama

Japan Hisashi Wada

Japan Masaki Jyonai

Japan Masaki Kano

25 Hoppy Team Tsuchiya Toyota GR Supra GT300 Yokohama

Japan Togo Suganami

Japan Seita Nonaka

27 Yogibo Racing Honda NSX GT3 Yokohama

Japan Reimei Ito

Japan Yugo Iwasawa

30 apr Toyota GR86 GT Yokohama

Japan Hiroaki Nagai

Japan Manabu Orido

Japan Ryo Ogawa

31 apr Lexus LC500h GT Bridgestone

Japan Koki Saga

Japan Kazuto Kotaka

Japan Yuki Nemoto

48 NILZZ Racing Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 Yokohama

Japan Taiyo Ida

Japan Yuki Tanaka

Japan Yusaku Shibata

50 Anest Iwata Racing with Arnage Lexus RC F GT3 Yokohama

Brazil Igor Fraga

Japan Yuga Furutani

Japan Miki Koyama

52 Saitama Toyopet Green Brave Toyota GR Supra GT300 Bridgestone

Japan Hiroki Yoshida

Japan Kohta Kawaai

56 Kondo Racing Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 Yokohama

Brazil JP de Oliveira

Japan Teppei Natori

60 LM Corsa Toyota GR Supra GT300 Dunlop

Japan Hiroki Yoshimoto

Japan Shunsuke Kohno

61 R&D Sport Subaru BRZ Dunlop

Japan Takuto Iguchi

Japan Hideki Yamauchi

65 K2 R&D LEON Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Bridgestone

Japan Naoya Gamou

Japan Takuro Shinohara

87 JLOC Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Yokohama

Japan Kosuke Matsuura

Japan Natsu Sakaguchi

88 JLOC Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Yokohama

Japan Takashi Kogure

Japan Yuya Motojima

96 K-tunes Racing Lexus RC F GT3 Dunlop

Japan Morio Nitta

Japan Shinichi Takagi

244 Max Racing  Toyota GR Supra GT300 Yokohama

Japan Kimiya Sato

Japan Atsushi Miyake

360 Tomei Sports Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 Yokohama

Japan Takayuki Aoki

Japan Atsushi Tanaka

Japan Takuya Otaki

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