Heikki Kovalainen announces switch to Super GT in Japan

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Former Formula 1 driver Heikki Kovalainen has confirmed that he will be racing in this year’s Japanese Super GT championship, joining Lexus Team SARD for the 2015 season.

Kovalainen made his F1 debut back in 2007 for Renault, but was drafted in by McLaren as Fernando Alonso’s replacement for the 2008 season. He won the Hungarian Grand Prix that year en route to seventh place in the championship.

The Finn left Woking after 2009, joining backmarkers Caterham (nee Lotus Racing) for three difficult seasons. His final F1 appearance came at the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix where he deputized for the injured Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus F1 Team.

Now though, Kovalainen is set to try his hand at GT racing in Japan, confirming the move on his official Twitter account.

Kovalainen will race in the GT500 class alongside Kohei Hirate in the #39 Lexus Team SARD car, with his debut coming at Okayama in April.

Another man making the move over to Japan after F1 is Kamui Kobayashi, who will return to his native country to race in the Super Formula championship after a turbulent year with Caterham in 2014.