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Baguette departs Honda Super GT fold

Bertrand Baguette has announced that last weekend's Fuji Speedway finale was his final outing as a Honda Super GT driver.

Bertrand Baguette, #17 Astemo NSX-GT

The Belgian driver has been part of Honda's GT500 roster since he first joined the Nakajima Racing squad in 2014, and since 2019 has raced for the Real Racing outfit.

He won a total of four races in that time, and secured a best finish in the standings of third last year alongside Real team-mate Koudai Tsukakoshi.

"After eight years together, Fuji was my last race as a Honda driver," Baguette wrote on social media.

"I’ve learned a lot, made good friends and I’ll take with me many great memories. A page turns and I will keep you posted about my plans for the future very soon."

Baguette was signed by Satoru Nakajima's team as a replacement for the retiring Ryo Michigami in 2014, making the full-time move to Japan after two seasons racing in the World Endurance Championship - with a star turn at Fuji in 2013 putting him on the radar of ex-Lotus and Tyrrell F1 racer Nakajima.

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Initially struggling with the uncompetitive Dunlop tyre, Baguette's persistence paid off in 2017 when he and Kosuke Matsuura won the Suzuka 1000km, which remains Dunlop's most recent GT500 victory.

After one more season at Nakajima, Baguette earned a promotion to Bridgestone squad Real Racing in 2019, and despite and up-and-down campaign he and Tsukakoshi finished as top Honda crew in the standings.

Bertrand Baguette, #17 Astemo NSX-GT

Bertrand Baguette, #17 Astemo NSX-GT

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Last year he and Tsukakoshi won their first races a duo to put together a title challenge that went down to the final race, the pair adding to their tally in this year's Fuji 500km round in May.

Baguette and Tsukakoshi went into last weekend's final round at Fuji with an outside chance of the championship, trailing pre-race points-leader Naoki Yamamoto by eight points, but an early accident for Baguette while trying to make up for lost ground ended the team's hopes.

The news opens up a prime spot in the Real Racing line-up for 2021. Current Impul Nissan driver Nobuharu Matsushita has been linked to the vacant seat alongside Tsukakoshi.

Toyota Super GT driver Heikki Kovalainen announced earlier this week that he wouldn't be continuing in the series next year. 

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