This weekend Gary Paffett will travel to Suzuka, Japan, for the first time in his career to compete in the Suzuka 10 Hours as his Intercontinental GT Challenge campaign continues.
After completing his maiden FIA Formula E season in July, Gary headed straight to Spa, Belgium, to tackle the legendary 24-hour endurance race. With a top-20 finish scored in an incredibly competitive field, Gary and his Mercedes-AMG Team Strakka Racing team-mates can look forward to an exciting weekend ahead in Asia.
In the first round of the IGTC season, Gary and his team-mates were running in contention for the victory at the Bathurst 12 Hours. However, technical problems on lap 185 forced the team to make an early retirement.
Tackling the immense Suzuka Circuit, Gary, Lewis Williamson and Tristan Vautier will once again team-up to drive the #44 Mercedes-AMG GT3 to challenge for a strong finish in a grid of 36 cars.
This is the 48th edition of the event, however, it will be Gary’s first time competing at the 3.609-mile venue known for its unique figure-of-eight layout and high-speed corners.
Taking the machinery for a ride along the infamous ‘esses’, Gary will have to battle unpredictable weather this weekend, with the forecast currently predicting rain across Saturday during qualifying and mixed conditions for the race on Sunday - making challenging conditions for the Fitbit-sponsored driver and his fellow drivers.
“Suzuka is such a legendary circuit and I am incredibly excited to be racing there for the first time,” Gary said ahead of the weekend. “As a racing driver, everyone talks about how good the track is and I can’t wait to experience that for myself!
“The 24 Hours of Spa was an interesting race for us. It would have been nice to finish higher up in the order, but a top-20 result is still a positive to take from that weekend. Now, looking ahead to this race, it is going to be interesting to see how the car handles on the circuit. My team-mates have previous experience here, so we shall all work together to ensure we get the result we deserve!”
Qualifying for the Suzuka 10 Hours will commence on Saturday 24th August at 05:00 (BST) before the top-20 pole shootout begins at 09:30. The rolling start for the 10-hour endurance race will be at 02:00 on Sunday morning.