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Future of Super GT in Thailand in doubt over costs

Future of Super GT in Thailand in doubt over costs
Co-author: Tomohiro Yoshita

The future of SUPER GT's Thailand round at the Buriram circuit is in doubt over cost concerns, series chairman Masaaki Bandoh has revealed.

Buriram was provisionally included in the 2020 calendar announced in July, but the future of the race has been in doubt since the circuit’s previous contract expired after this year’s event.

Bandoh has now confirmed that a new deal with the Thai circuit has not been signed yet, with the sticking point being the costs associated with hosting the event.

Holding the Thai MotoGP race puts a strain on Buriram’s resources, and a budget has yet to be allocated for next year's SUPER GT round, despite the circuit’s willingness to continue hosting the Japan-based series.

Apart from the hosting fee there are other costs related to hosting the event, including the freight and logistics required to ship cars from Japan.

“I am talking with the Buriram circuit about the event.” Bandoh said in a press conference on the eve of last weekend's Autopolis race. “There are logistical expenses and [the fee associated with the] rights to hold the event.

“We are trying to reduce costs and considering making estimates for each supplier so that we can reduce costs even in logistics. The Thai side is also trying reduce the burden."

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Buriram has been a regular fixture on the SUPER GT calendar since 2014 and next year's event is provisionally scheduled for July 4-5, two weeks before the series returns to Malaysia for its first-ever night race.

While question marks remain over Buriram’s future on the SUPER GT calendar, Sepang has signed a three-year deal with GTA through to 2022.

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Series Super GT
Author Rachit Thukral