Makowiecki closing in on Nissan Super GT drive
Factory Porsche driver Frederic Makowiecki is poised to sign a deal with Nissan to race in the 2019 Super GT season, Motorsport.com can reveal.
Makowiecki previously competed for Honda in Super GT between 2013-14, but has exclusively focused on his sportscar racing exploits with Porsche since then.
However, Nissan is believed to have lured Makowiecki back to Super GT after giving him an opportunity to test the GT-R at Fuji Speedway last month.
The deal appears to have the backing of Michelin, with which both Makowiecki and Nissan maintain strong ties. Makoweicki has long served as Michelin's test driver for its Formula E programme.
The arrangement would see the Frenchman drive for the Michelin-shod B-Max outfit, which joined the series last season.
Makowiecki is likely to be paired alongside two-time champion Kohei Hirate, who is expected to end his long-time affiliation with Toyota after the Japanese manufacturer demoted him to the GT300 class last year.
Although Makowiecki is set to contest both the Le Mans and Nurburgring 24 Hours for Porsche this year, neither of those races clash with Super GT races in 2019. He is also no longer part of the German marque's IGTC line-up.
#91 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR: Frédéric Makowiecki
Photo by: Marc Fleury
Other changes at Nissan
With B-Max set to field an all-new line-up in 2019, doubts have been cast over the future of the two drivers who competed for the squad last year.
Katsumasa Chiyo could possibly move to sister Nissan squad Kondo Racing for his fourth season in Super GT, although there is a possibility that he could drop out of the series altogether in favour of more international GT3 outings.
He was recently inducted into KCMG’s two car-effort for the Bathurst 12 Hour, a race he won in 2015 with Nissan.
Three-time champion and long-time Nissan man Satoshi Motoyama's future also remains unclear, and it remains possible that the 47-year-old will end his top-flight racing career after over two decades in Super GT.
Elsewhere, former Lexus Super GT ace James Rossiter appears near-certain to jump ship and join Nissan squad Impul in place of Jann Mardenborough.
Mardenborough may still find a lifeline at Kondo in place of the axed Joao Paulo de Oliveira, but this remains uncertain.
Mercedes DTM outcast Dani Juncadella was initially in contention for a Nissan drive after testing for the manufacturer alongside Makoweicki and Rossiter in December.
However, the Spaniard is believed to have turned down the chance in favour of pursuing other opportunities in DTM.
Nissan will officially announce its 2019 Super GT driver line-up on February 9.
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|Teams||B-Max Racing Team|