CAS­SIDY BACK IN GT500

NZ Performance Car - - Inside Line -

Nick Cas­sidy, who is per­haps one of the hard­est work­ing Ki­wis in motorsport right now, will re­turn to the Super GT grid for his sec­ond sea­son with Lexus Team TOM’S. Cas­sidy and team­mate Ryo Hi­rakawa will pi­lot the new 2017-spec Lexus LC 500, which fea­tures a re­duc­tion in down­force from last year’s cars in a bid to cre­ate less cor­ner­ing speed. The cars are pow­ered by the same two-litre turbo as last year, mak­ing around the 447kW mark.

The big news for the team is the ad­di­tion of Red Bull to the pro­gramme. This is the first Super GT car to be spon­sored by the global drinks com­pany as it moves to ex­pand its pres­ence in Ja­pan. The team has car­ried out ex­ten­sive test­ing in the new car ahead of next month’s opener, and Cas­sidy is optimistic. “So far, the car looks very promis­ing,” he said. “We won’t know where we stand un­til the open­ing round at Okayama in April. Our ri­vals will all have new cars, too.”

Along­side his Super GT com­mit­ments, Cas­sidy is also the first Kiwi to con­test Ja­pan’s top-tier sin­gle-seater class, known as ‘Super For­mula’, fol­low­ing on from his For­mula 3 cham­pi­onship cam­paign in 2016.

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