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This Year’s SUZUKA 10 Hours Features a Full Cast of Champions!

You won’t want to miss who will be crowned the greatest champion of all!

the greatest champion of all

The entry list for the BH Auction SMBC The 48th SUMMER ENDURANCE 2019 SUZUKA 10 Hours, which will take place on August 23 to 25, already has many names on it. With even more cars than last year, and a long list of "who’s who of champions" coming to race, there’s no doubt there will be more excitement than ever before! And with all the champions coming to battle it out, the greatest champion of all will be crowned at the 2019 SUZUKA 10 Hours.

There are still some driver’s slots to be filled, and even more teams are expected to participate in the 2019 SUZUKA 10 Hours. This is a list of champion-class drivers that were announced as part of the entry list on August 7th.

Foreign Race Series

  • Former F1 World Champion
    Mika Hakkinen (Team TBA)
  • World Endruance Championship Champion
    Romain Dumas (EBM)
  • DTM Champions
    Gary Paffett (Mercedes-AMG Team Strakka Racing)
    Martin Tomczyk (BMW Team Schnitzer)
  • Intercontinental GT Challenge Champion
    Tristan Vautier (Mercedes-AMG Team Strakka Racing)
  • Blancpain GT Series (Endurance & Sprint) Champions
    Katsumasa Chiyo (KCMG)
    Chrisopher Haase (Audi Sport Team Absolute)
    Christopher Mies (Audi Sport Team Absolute)
    Maximillan Buhk (Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing)
    Raffaelle Marciello(Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing)
    Marco Engel (Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing)
  • IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (GT)
    Christina Nielsen (Team Strakka Racing)
  • World Series by Nissan
    Heikki Kovalainen (HubAuto Corsa)

Japanese Race Series

  • Super Formula/
    Formula Nippon Champions
    Tsugio Matsuda (KCMG)
    Hiroaki Ishiura (Team TBA)
    Richard Lyons (Audi Team Hitotsuyama)
    GT500 Class Champions
    Ryo Michigami (Modulo Drago CORSE)
    Tsugio Matsuda (KCMG)
    Juichi Wakisaka (LM corsa)
    Richard Lyons (Audi Team Hitotsuyama)
    Heikki Kovalainen (HubAuto Corsa)
    Nick Cassidy (HubAuto Corsa)
    GT300 Class Champions
    Nobuteru Taniguchi (Mercedes-AMG Team Goodsmile)
    Tatsuya Kataoka (Mercedes-AMG Team Goodsmile)
    Manabu Orido (apr with ARN racing)
    Hideki Mutoh (Honda Team Motul)

And, of course, there are still several other champion drivers from other championships such as Junior Formula, 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24 Hours in Nuremberg, and more. There will also be drivers that are at the top of the rankings, and all joking aside, this season’s line-up is stupendous. If you are looking to get autographs, you’re likely to run out of time because there are so many to be had.

The foreign-driver line-up is incredible. At the top of the list is of course the one and only the pride of McLaren Mika Hakkinen. The former F1 World Champion retired from DTM and did not race for some time. Being able to watch him race is no doubt a rarity. He’s posted photos of getting fitted for his seat on social media, so you he is fired up. It should be a real treat to watch him race.

It will also be wonderful to see drivers behind the wheel like Gary Paffett and Martin Tomczyk, who have won DTM, as well as World Endurance Champion Romain Dumas – all who have the full backing of German automobile manufacturers behind them. Paffett has very little driving experience in Japan, so you surely won’t want to miss him take the wheel.

To add to the already list of long champions, the 2018 Intercontinental GT Challenge Champion Tristan Vautier, as well as the "craftsman" of the GT3 class of racing, the champions from the Blancpain GT Series and Blancpain World Challenge will also be on track to fight for a victory. Their style of racing is likely to set "the example" of SUZUKA 10 Hours. Also in the house will be the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Champion in the GT class, Christina Nielsen – yet another name that people will be talking about.

Japanese drivers such as winners in the SUPER GT GT500 Class from Toyota, Honda will also be racing: Juichi Wakisaka (3-time Series Champion with Toyota), Ryo Michigami (Series Champion with Honda) will also battle it out again on the circuit – which should be great fun to watch.

Four Super Formula and Formula Nippon past champions will also race. All eyes will be on Hiroaki Ishiura, who will be driving a McLaren 720S GT3 car. Ishiura has driven Totyota and Lexus cars over the years, so it will be interesting to watch how he handles the new GT3 car.

GT300 Champions will also be a focal point in the race. In 2018, Nobuteru Taniguchi and Tatsuya Kataoka were at the top of the pack of Japanese drivers. They are both used to driving GT3 cars, like the ones used in SUZUKA 10 Hours. Manabu Orido will be in a Ferrari for the first time, and behind the wheel for Honda Team MOTUL, which runs in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, will be Hideki Mutoh.

This absolutely incredible line-up of drivers who will battle it out on track at the 2019 SUZUKA 10 Hours, is a full cast of champions. You definitely won’t want to miss it!

  • Mika Hakkinen

    Mika Hakkinen


    1998F1 World Champion
    1999F1 World Champion
    Heikki Kovalainen

    Heikki Kovalainen


    2004World Series by Nissan Champion
    2016SUPER GT GT500 Class Champion
  • Gary Paffett

    Gary Paffett

    Great Britain

    2005DTM Champion
    2018DTM Champion
    Juichi Wakisaka

    Juichi Wakisaka


    2002JGTC GT500 Class Champion
    2006SUPER GT GT500 Class Champion
    2009SUPER GT GT500 Class Champion
  • Martin Tomczyk

    Martin Tomczyk


    2011DTM Champion
    Ryo Michigami

    Ryo Michigami


    2000JGTC GT500 Class Champion
  • Tristan Vautier

    Tristan Vautier


    2018Suzuka 10 Hours Winner
    Intercontinental GT Challenge Champion
    Tsugio Matsuda

    Tsugio Matsuda


    2007Formula Nippon Champion
    2008Formula Nippon Champion
    2014SUPER GT GT500 Class Champion
    2015SUPER GT GT500 Class Champion
  • Christina Nielsen

    Christina Nielsen


    2016WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD Class Champion
    2017WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD Class Champion
    Hiroaki Ishiura

    Hiroaki Ishiura


    2007SUPER GT GT300 Class Champion
    2015Super Formula Champion
    2017Super Formula Champion

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