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Toyota GT300 team Max Racing withdraws from SUPER GT

Toyota GT300 team Max Racing has announced its withdrawal from SUPER GT, following the fire that heavily damaged its car in the previous race at Fuji.

#244 HACHI-ICHI GR Supra GT

The team revealed its decision to end its participation in Japan's top sportscar series on Wednesday, ahead of this weekend's Suzuka 450km.

Max Racing was due to skip the fifth round of the season after its Tsuchiya Engineering-run Toyota GR Supra GT300 sustained damage during the Fuji race earlier this month, when it caught fire due to an exhaust problem.

In a brief statement, Max Racing said its decision to quit the series was influenced by being unable to source parts to repair its car this season.

"Last year, following the sudden passing of team owner Tsuyoshi Oono, we were able to move forward thanks to the strong encouragement of our supporters together with the desire to continue his legacy," it read.

"However, due to repeated crashes last season and a vehicle fire at the previous round of the Fuji, we will not be able to obtain some of the damaged parts during this season.

"In light of this situation, and after careful consideration, we made the unfortunate decision to withdraw from the SUPER GT series."

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Max Racing first entered SUPER GT in 2020 with a Lexus RC F GT3, and switched to the GR Supra GT300 the following year.

That year it won its first race with drivers Atsushi Miyake and Yuui Tsutsumi at Suzuka, with the pair finishing fifth in the GT300 standings.

 

The team was rocked by the death of its owner Oono in March 2022, prompting it to miss the opening round at Okayama, but it returned from the second round of the season onwards. 

However, Miyake and new team-mate Kimiya Sato struggled, scoring only a single point all year.

Max Racing returned to the podium in a chaotic wet-weather race at the start of the year at Okayama as Miyake and Sato finished third, but not have scored points since, leaving them 10th in the standings.

The news of Max Racing's withdrawal follows the revelation by Tsuchiya Engineering that it will sit out the rest of the season after its hand-built GR Supra was written off in an even bigger fire at Fuji.

Motorsport.tv is showing all qualifying sessions and races for the 2023 SUPER GT season. For more information, click here.

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