Lexus reveals refreshed 2019 Super GT line-up

Rachit Thukral

, rising star Sho Tsuboi has been promoted to the GT500 ranks following a stellar 2018 during season during which he dominated the Japanese F3 championship and scored several podiums in Super GT's GT300 category.

He effectively takes the place of Kenta Yamashita, who has switched to Team LeMans alongside Kazuya Oshima to fill the seat vacated by Rosenqvist.

Lexus has also handed Yuichi Nakayama a break in Super GT’s flagship category, the multiple GT300 race winner being paired with Heikki Kovalainen at Sard in place of Kobayashi.

Meanwhile, TOM’S has elected to keep an unchanged line-up for both its cars after narrowly missing out on the 2018 title.

2017 champions Nick Cassidy and Ryo Hirakawa will drive the team’s #37 LC500, while Kazuki Nakajima and Yuhi Sekiguchi will again share the sister #36 car.

Cerumo, too, has decided to retain both Hiroaki Ishiura and Yuji Tachikawa, despite suggestions that the latter could retire at the age of 43 after three titles and 18 race wins.

As part of the reshuffle, both Kobayashi and Rosenqvist will leave Super GT after one season each.

, while Rosenqvist's new IndyCar deal leaves no room for a dual campaign.

instead, with an announcement expected on Saturday.

for the first time in more than a decade.

Lexus 2019 Super GT line-up

Team

Drivers

LeMans

 Kazuya Oshima

 Kenta Yamashita

Bandoh

 Yuji Kunimoto

 Sho Tsuboi

TOM’S (#36)

 Kazuki Nakajima

 Yuhi Sekiguchi

TOM’S (#37)

 Ryo Hirakawa

 Nick Cassidy

Cerumo

 Yuji Tachikawa

 Hiroaki Ishiura

Sard

 Heikki Kovalainen

 Yuichi Nakayama