Perhaps it's Gran Turismo; perhaps it's incredible tracks like Suzuka and Fuji; perhaps it's just so far away that it appears more exotic, but there's something about Japanese motorsport that makes it seem cooler than equivalent series in Western world. It runs the same spec cars as other GT3 championships, Blancpain, British GT et al, but which would you rather go and watch? Exactly.
There's further intrigue for British tin top fans this year, with Aston Martin returning to Super GT for the first time since 2012. The new turbocharged Vantage GT3 will be the car, competing in GT300 with D'station racing and "the highest level of partner support from Aston Martin Racing". The drivers will be Tomonobu Fuji and Joao Paulo Oliveira, with Darren Turner being third driver for the 500-mile Fuji race in August. A nice one to be star driver in...
With considerable Super GT experience in both the team and the drivers, the D'station team is said to be aiming for victories and a championship challenge in 2019. They won't have it easy, though, with the new McLaren 720S GT3 also competing, plus the established challengers from Lamborghini, Lexus and Nissan to name but three.
Aston Martin Racing's President, David King, said: We're very proud of the fact that an Aston Martin is once again racing in such a prestigious and important series as Japanese Super GT, and it is further evidence of our expanding motorsport and customer racing activities around the world. It will also help to further the message of our growing AMR Performance brand of Aston Martin road cars and services, and we see Japan as a very important market for this." The season starts at Okayama on April 13th, with the first visit to Fuji the month after - fingers crossed for an exciting season!