2021 Subaru BRZ GT300 racer hits track
Japan's Super GT championship is one of motorsport's best series – and this is the new BRZ that'll contest in it
By Sam Sheehan / Tuesday, January 19, 2021 / Loading comments
Subaru has released footage of its all-new BRZ GT300 racing car on track ahead of the 2021 Super GT championship in Japan. The competition car picks up where its predecessor left off as Subaru’s thoroughbred rival to the likes of Aston Martin's Vantage, Mercedes-AMG’s GT and Nissan’s GT-R Nismo Super GT machinery. All of the cars are ground-up competition cars rather than upgraded road machines, so while the BRZ GT300 is set to retain flat-four power likes its street sibling, it’s likely to be an entirely different motor.
The last BRZ racer used a turbocharged flat-four related to but significantly evolved from the EJ20 of the WRX STI, producing about 300hp as per the GT300 class’s limits. The new motor is likely to retain a similar setup with four horizontally opposed cylinders boosted by turbocharging, but whether the Subaru R&D Sports engineers have opted to evolve the existing motor or worked on something new is yet to be known. Our money’s on the former because it’s a proven recipe, with enough technical similarity (at least in terms of layout) to the road car to keep the marketing department happy.
The engine noise on the video doesn’t exactly go against the suggestion of continuity either; if you can ignore the music there’s straight-cut gearbox whine and the high-revving note of a four-cylinder to enjoy. The sort of sounds we’re used to hearing when faced with a machine bearing motorsport bodywork like that of the BRZ GT300, which essentially wears a bespoke racing skin with little more than a few details to signal its link to the BRZ road car. Be honest; if the lights weren’t there, you’d struggle to identify the car, wouldn’t you? Inside, it’s even more thoroughbred competition car, such is the extremeness of the category’s regs.
Subaru absolutely had to have a car on the grid of this series, because it’s one of the best and most competitive GT championships in the world, let alone Japan. The output cap grows to 500hp in the top category class, GT500, where Toyota’s GR Supra runs with its own turbocharged four-cylinder as per class regs. The championship hasn’t mirrored DTM for 2021 with a switch to hybrid powertrains, which means there’s little chance of another DTM and Super GT mix up race like there was in 2019 . A shame, not least because DTM could do with the promotional help, but Super GT certainly has an eclectic line-up of cars on its own, with plenty of top talent in the grid from the world over. Jenson Button contested in the series until the end of 2019, but the best Super GT drivers tend to be Japan’s own, like 2020 winning duo, Naoki Yamamoto and Tadasuke Makino.
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