Courtesy of Red Bull Newsroom
LEXUS TEAM KeePer TOM’S LC 500 set for elite Japanese motorsport event.
Japanese driver Ryo Hirakawa will start the new Super GT series in Japan driving the new LC 500 car for the LEXUS TEAM KeePer TOM’S outfit.
Hirakawa and New Zealand’s Nick Cassidy will take on 14 other teams in the GT500 edition which gets underway on April 9 at the Okayama International Circuit – the first of eight races through until November 12.
Hirakawa finished ninth in the 2016 championship, partnered with Briton James Rossiter, while Cassidy claimed fifth alongside Daisuke Ito.
The duo will get the chance to challenge for more podiums this season in a powerful new car that is an upgrade on the Lexus RC F used since 2014.
It was unveiled with Hirakawa in attendance together with a unique Japanese decorative truck known as a Decotora.
Super GT is Japan’s most prestigious motorsport event featuring heavily-modified touring production cars that are capable of both high speeds and long distances.
The GT500 edition sees two drivers per team undertake each race in closed cockpit cars that are produced by the big three Japanese manufacturers, while the GT300 edition is open to domestic and overseas manufacturers.
Driver points are awarded to the top-10 finishers in each race with a weight handicap assigned to cars according to the points they scored in the previous race – providing a close and intense battle for the title.