Inging "in two minds" about keeping Lotus Evora for 2022
The future of the Lotus Evora in SUPER GT is in doubt as the Inging team which runs the car is considering a model change for the 2022 season.
After returning to the GT300 ranks to run a Toyota 86 Mother Chassis under its own banner last year, Inging joined forces with Cars Tokai Dream28 to field a Lotus Evora MC this season for veteran duo Hiroki Katoh and Ryohei Sakaguchi.
Katoh and Sakaguchi scored victory in the third round of the season at Motegi in July, but have struggled elsewhere, with a next-best finish of ninth place.
The Evora is just one of two Mother Chassis cars – which are based around a standard Dome tub and use a GTA-supplied engine – left on the GT300 class grid, along with the Team Mach 86 MC.
Paddock speculation suggests the GTA will end its service programme for the mother chassis engine (an unbranded Nissan 4.5-litre V8) at the end of this year, although the GTA has not made any official comment on the matter.
Inging team manager Tomohiro Yamamoto says that this issue, combined with interest from the team's sponsors in a change of car, could prompt the team to stop using the Evora, which has been a constant fixture on the SUPER GT grid since the 2015 season.
“At the moment we are really in two minds,” Yamamoto told Motorsport.com. “There’s one big problem, which is the lack of availability of the engine used in the mother chassis.
“We need to have an engine that can deliver similar performance to the one we are using this year, so we are not sure what to do.
“[Sponsors] Advics and muta Racing are also interested to try out a different car, so there is a possibility we could change, although we don’t know yet.
“We hope the GTA will allow teams to continue using the mother chassis, but it’s also important to start developing things with another car. We have two possible directions we can go in.”
The Lotus Evora MC first joined the SUPER GT grid in 2015 and was run solely by Cars Tokai Dream28 until last year
Yamamoto clarified that any change would be to a homegrown GT300 car such as the Toyota GR Supra or new-for-2022 Toyota 86, and not a FIA GT3 car.
Apr has already confirmed it is building the 86 next season and plans to run one example itself, but is hoping to supply the car to customer outfits.
“To take on a new challenge, the important thing is that we are able to develop a car ourselves, as we are very interested in the technical side of things,” Yamamoto said.
Honda can't feel "safe" about SUPER GT title prospects
Nissan confirms GT-R GT500 car will be replaced for 2022