Press Release

Two GRM drivers, Andre Couto and Andrea Caldarelli will both be present in the 2012 SUPER GT series (GT500 Class) with LEXUS!

Veteran driver Andre Couto who has been participating actively in the SUPER GT series since 2004 will join LEXUS TEAM WedsSport BANDOH this year as uniting forces with Seiji Ara, and drive the WedsSport ADVAN SC430 (Car No. 19).
This team which used to run in the GT300 class moved up to GT500 from last year and placed 3rd on the podium already in Round 2 (Fuji) of the season, proving its high potential from the very start. And even just for this reason alone, Andre Couto’s motivation is greatly aroused early on from the off-season months.

“I am happy to join LEXUS TEAM WedsSport BANDOH which will also allow me to continue being a member of the LEXUS force. Together with the team, I’m now very excited and aspired to try bringing on a good season for everybody. I’m also looking forward to the new challenges of working with Yokohama tyres, and can hardly wait for the season’s opening round (March 31-April 1 OKAYAMA). Together with team director Mr. Bandoh and with Seiji, let’s be sure to bind our strengths and do our best in each round, always aiming at victory. And as we do so, please give us your warm cheer and support!”

Andrea Caldarelli is making his SUPER GT debut this season with LEXUS TEAM KeePer Kraft driving LEXUS KeePer SC430 (Car No. 35) where Yuji Kunimoto will join Andrea as his teammate. Directed by Akira Iida, all will see how the young gun of this team will battle with the veteran drivers, which is already drawing much attention from everyone looking to follow closely what may turn out from the new season.

“I am indeed honored and happy to become a member of TOYOTA and LEXUS TEAM KeePer Kraft. This will be my first participation in the SUPER GT, which also means a big challenge racing on closed-wheels for my first time. LEXUS is one of the most competitive cars in the SUPER GT series. The outcome of each race could vary greatly by the tyres and drivers’ performance too, so during the coming tests I will work hard at adapting to the machine and the tyres, and then in the races really give my best! I am sincerely grateful to TOYOTA for giving me the chance to enter the SUPER GT series, as well as the great opportunity I’m given to also take part in the WEC (FIA World Endurance Championship) as TOYOTA Racing Junior Driver.”

Andrea Caldarelli has been awarded from the Italian motorsports council!
On this past February 3 in Modena (Italy), an award ceremony of the CSAI (Commissione Sportiva Automobilistica Italiana) was held and there Andrea Caldarelli received a special award for being selected by the FIA as a member of the Institute of Young Driver Excellence Academy, the first Italian ever to gain such an honor and prestige.

Photos by T.Moriyama, M.Hirata