Monday, January 13, 2014

Super GT: Hitotsuyama Racing returning with Audi in 2014

By Johan Laubscher

Hitotsuyama Racing will be remaining loyal to Audi Sport customer racing for yet another season in Japan, despite what was a very tough 2013 season.

The team, who has spearheaded the Audi R8 LMS participation in Japan since 2011, has always remained loyal to the Audi R8 LMS. 2013 was a very difficult year for the team in Japan, as the R8 LMS ultra was heavily hit by the imposed Balance of Performance. Hitotsuyama Racing was the sole Audi entrant in the Super GT during the bulk of the 2013 season.

Many rumours circulated that Hitotsuyama Racing might be moving away from Audi for 2014. After the Fuji Sprint Cup the team posted on their Facebook page: “Thanks to our drivers Akihiro and Richard, mechanics, and everyone who supported us this season. We will be back with a new package next year. Please stay tuned.”  

Great news emerged today, as Hitotsuyama Racing, via their website and Facebook page, announced that they will once again be fielding their Audi R8 LMS ultra in the GT300 class of the Japanese Super GT.

The blog post on their website also mentions the possibility of upping their team from one car, up to possibly two or three Audi R8 LMS ultra vehicles.

Hitotsuyama Racing’s 2014 Audi participation blog/website post can be seen HERE.

The team has been with Audi Sport customer racing for a number of seasons. They started with a single Audi R8 LMS in 2011 and took the Super Taikyu ST-X (GT3) title that year. 2011 also saw the team competing in the GTC class of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup Six Hours of Zhuhai and the Macau GT Cup.

By 2012 the team had upped its arsenal to two Audi R8 LMS cars and entered the Japanese Super GT. The team sold their two R8 LMS cars ahead of and during the 2013 season and upgraded to a brand new 2013 Audi R8 LMS ultra for their Super GT campaign. The Balance of Performance regulations had not been kind to the Audi GT3 vehicles in Japan, but Hitotsuyama Racing never gave up and always pushed hard for the best possible results.

Hitotsuyama Racing was also seen in select events of the GT Asia Series from 2011 to 2013.

It is very exciting news to hear that Hitotsuyama Racing will be remaining with Audi Sport customer racing. They are one of the most loyal R8 LMS customer teams around the world and we wish them the best of luck as they take on the 2014 Japanese Super GT season.

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