Kovalainen joins ex-F1 driver Hakkinen on Suzuka 10 Hours grid

Heikki Kovalainen will join fellow ex-McLaren Formula 1 driver Mika Hakkinen competing in the Suzuka 10 Hours, driving a Ferrari 488 GT3

Kovalainen joins ex-F1 driver Hakkinen on Suzuka 10 Hours grid

Kovalainen will share HubAuto's #27 Ferrari with fellow Super GT champion Nick Cassidy and team regular Nick Foster on August 23-25.

Meanwhile double F1 champion Hakkinen is making his first international racing start since 2011, and will partner Katsuaki Kubota and Hiroaki Ishiura in a McLaren 720S run by a yet-to-be-confirmed team.

Taiwanese entrant HubAuto is one of three teams nominated to score Intercontinental GT Challenge points for Ferrari at Suzuka, alongside ARN Racing and CarGuy Racing.

"This is a major coup for the HubAuto team," commented technical director Phillip di Fazio.

"I've lots of experience working alongside Heikki and Nick.

"We have a strong driver line-up with pedigree and experience. Coupled with a good car we are aiming for nothing less than a win."

This year Kovalainen is contesting Super GT - which he was champion of in 2016 - with the Sard Lexus team alongside Yuichi Nakayama, the pair lying ninth in the standings after last weekend's Fuji 500-mile race.

Cassidy races against Kovalainen in Super GT, and is currently second in the standings of the series he was champion of in 2017. This year he races alongside Ryo Hirakawa in a TOMS Lexus.

But the New Zealander - who is also second in the Super Formula championship - is no stranger to the HubAuto team, taking part in last month's Spa 24 Hours alongside Foster and Daniel Serra.

Cassidy ultimately did not get to drive in the race as the car was eliminated by a crash for Foster in the second hour.

Reigning DTM champion and Formula E driver Gary Paffett is among the notable entrants for the event in a Strakka Mercedes, as well as Toyota World Endurance Championship regular and ex-Formula 1 driver Kamui Kobayashi, also in a Mercedes.

Last year the event was won by the Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing car of Maro Engel, Raffaele Marciello and Tristan Vautier.

After three events, Mercedes pair Maxi Buhk and Maxi Goetz lead the IGTC standings, with two events including Suzuka remaining.

The last event of the season is a trip to the redeveloped Kyalami circuit.

shares
comments
Jenson Button: Difficult to retain Super GT title

Previous article

Jenson Button: Difficult to retain Super GT title

Next article

Villeneuve to race Prince of Sweden in Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia

Villeneuve to race Prince of Sweden in Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia
Load comments
The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever Plus

The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever

Had FIA GT boss Stephane Ratel had his way, the Maserati MC12 would never have been allowed to set foot in his series. It duly proved the class of the field that most had expected, but the Balance of Performance that its superiority spawned would keep GT1 battles tight and bring long-term benefits that sportscar racing enjoys today

GT
Sep 21, 2021
Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage Plus

Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage

The E-Type may be the most famous of all road-going Jaguars, but that didn't always translate into success on the track. After winning on its competition debut in 1961, motorsport success seemed an inevitability, but things didn’t turn out to be quite that straightforward

GT
Aug 6, 2021
Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60 Plus

Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60

It’s 60 years since the Jaguar E-type arrived and caused a sensation. As our resident racer Ben Anderson discovered when he got behind the wheel of two special racing versions at Brands Hatch, the thrill of driving them hasn't diminished over time

GT
Jul 31, 2021
The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat Plus

The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat

It's a significant achievement to win one 24-hour race in a year, let alone two, and with different manufacturers, but that's exactly what ROWE Racing did in 2020 at the Nurburgring and Spa. This weekend's German classic offers the DTM newcomer a chance of another unique double to add to its growing collection of accolades

GT
Jun 3, 2021
The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story Plus

The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story

The manufacturers were unconvinced – and even hostile – when Stephane Ratel launched GT3 in 2006. Now, 15 years on from its debut, they’ve sold more than 2000 cars and counting, but its continued expansion puts the increasingly globalised category at risk of losing its roots

GT
May 25, 2021
The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT Plus

The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT

With the Silver pairings that dominated 2020 now banned, Mercedes pair Yelmer Buurman and Ian Loggie could be in the box seat after winning last year's Pro-Am crown. But a swarm of Lamborghinis, with the defending outright champion among them, will ensure they face tough opposition

GT
May 21, 2021
How McLaren’s GT3 ‘single-seater’ defies expectations Plus

How McLaren’s GT3 ‘single-seater’ defies expectations

Time in a thoroughbred racer leaves you searching for time in yourself, especially when the rewards for total commitment are so high, as our man discovered at Snetterton

GT
Apr 28, 2021
How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy Plus

How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy

Raffaele Marciello once appeared to be Ferrari’s next Italian F1 star, but is now under the pay of its German arch-rival in GTs – and he’s very happy with his life

GT
Apr 8, 2021