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Super GT considering hybrid power for 2027 season

Super GT is considering whether to introduce hybrid power for the 2027 season as part of a push to halve its carbon emissions by 2030.

GT500 Start action

The Japanese sportscar series has up to now been resistant to adding a hybrid element to the successful 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine formula that has been used in the top GT500 class since 2014.

However, ahead of Sunday's season finale at Motegi, series organiser GTA revealed that hybrids could be adopted as part of its roadmap, dubbed 'Super GT Green Project 2030', which is aimed at reducing the championship's carbon footprint by half by the end of the decade while maintaining the series' popularity.

The first step of the project, as already announced at the start of the season, is the use of carbon-neutral fuel derived from so-called second-generation biomass in both the GT500 and GT300 classes.

Additionally, teams will only be able to use five sets of dry tyres, instead of the current six, in 300km races, and six sets of wets instead of seven, in the name of encouraging greater tyre longevity.

New GT500 cars will be introduced for 2024, which will continue to use carbon-neutral fuel, while the number of permitted tyres for 300km races will drop further to four sets in the dry and five sets in the wet.

Another new generation of GT500 machinery will then be introduced in 2027, with the potential for a spec hybrid system to be added at this juncture. A decision on this is set to be made by the end of 2023.

Additionally, the series hopes to begin using domestically-produced synthetic fuel instead of having to import it from overseas.

GTA chairman Masaaki Bandoh clearly stated the series is aiming to maintain engine sound as a fundamental tenet of Super GT's appeal.

 

Super GT's first joint test using the carbon neutral fuel planned for next season, originally scheduled for August but postponed due to logistical issues, is taking place at Motegi on Monday with 23 cars participating.

Only Nissan teams Impul and Kondo Racing are skipping the test of the GT500 contingent, while five manufacturers are represented in the GT300 class - although the #25 Tsuchiya Engineering Toyota GR Supra is not running after suffering major crash damage in Sunday's finale.

Fastest in the morning session was the #23 NISMO Nissan (Ronnie Quintarelli/Tsugio Matsuda) with a best time of 1m37.285s.

Entry list for post-race test:

GT500 (13 cars)

Nissan Z: #3 NDDP Racing, #23 NISMO
Toyota GR Supra: #14 Rookie Racing, #19 Racing Project Bandoh #36 TOM'S, #37 TOM'S, #38 Cerumo, #39 SARD
Honda NSX-GT: #8 ARTA, #16 Mugen, #17 Real Racing, #64 Nakajima Racing, #100 Team Kunimitsu

GT300 (10 cars entered, 9 running)

#2 Inging Toyota GR86
#7 Studie BMW M4 GT3
#11 Gainer Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3
#20 Shade Racing Toyota GR86
#25 Tsuchiya Engineering Toyota GR Supra
#30 apr Toyota GR86
#52 Saitama Toyopet Toyota GR Supra
#60 LM Corsa Toyota GR Supra
#61 R&D Sport Subaru BRZ
#65 LEON Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3

Additional reporting by Kenichiro Ebii

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