Mika Häkkinen will return to the Suzuka circuit in Japan later this year at the wheel of a McLaren, 20 years after claiming his second Formula 1 world championship title with the brand that has collapsed into an also, also ran on F1 circuits during the past couple of years. McLaren confirms that the Finnish driver will contest the Suzuka 10-Hour endurance race in a customer racing McLaren 720S GT3. (See AutoInformed.com on Honda Title Sponsor of Formula One Japanese Grand Prix)
Häkkinen will make his debut start at the Suzuka 10 Hour alongside two-time Super Formula champion Hiroaki Ishiura and Japanese Formula 3 racer Katsuaki Kubota. The trio will drive the new 720S GT3 for the fourth round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli on 23-25 August. Further information on the entry, including details of the customer team running the car, will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
Häkkinen won consecutive Formula 1 titles with McLaren in 1998 and 1999, securing both championships with wins at the Suzuka circuit. The ‘Flying Finn’ was reunited with his championship-winning MP4/13 car last year, driving several demonstration laps of the Japanese Grand Prix venue Suzuka to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his first title success.
The 2019 season marks the debut season for the 720S GT3, which is now racing with customer teams in championships globally following a development program. The car started its competitive career, securing pole position and victory, during the debut customer race event in Melbourne, Australia.