From Japan To Le Mans?
Two "GT" cars are only seen racing in Japan so far, the Vemac and the Garaiya could ultimately be Le Mans contenders, because both constructors would like to come to Le Mans…. but will they be able to do it? asks Le Mans Racing magazine, in its latest issue.

dailysportscar.comBuilt by Tokyo R&D Co, the Vemac has run in the GT-300 class of the JGTC since 2002, taking its class several times. The race version is the RD320R, powered by a Honda V6 engine. Some road cars have been sold. For 2004, the goal of Tokyo R&D is to introduce a new version of the Vemac, the RD350R, in the GT-500 class. The chassis (tubular with carbon panels), the brakes, the suspension and the gearbox are the same as on the RD320R, but the Honda V6 is replaced by a Zytek V8. Tokyo R&D's boss, Shinji Motojima, wants to enter the Vemac in the 24 hours of Le Mans, but the choice of class has not been decided…..

There is a strong will to enter this car, but is the Vemac in agreement with the ACO rules? Have enough road cars been built? Is the car homologated in different continents?

dailysportscar.comThere is a similar dilemma for another Japanese car, the Garaiya. Designed by Hiroto Kaneso, the Garaiya was launched in 2001 by the Autobacs Sportscar Laboratory (ASL). Aguri Suzuki, ASL director and ARTA team-manager and former F1 driver, would like to enter this car at Le Mans. Kaneso is initially thinking of the GTS Class as a ‘home’ for design, and visited Le Mans last June with two members of ARTA team.

Can these two cars really enter in a race under ACO regulations? Time will tell.

More news from Japan : Auto-Hebdo reports this week that the Frenchman Jérémie Dufour will be back this year with the Toyota Team SARD, for whom he drove in 2001 and 2002. His teamate will be Andre Couto.
David Legangneux


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