Former F1 driver Rio Haryanto has got a full-time race seat for the 2019 season in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia where he will drive a Ferrari.
Following his mid-season departure from F1 in 2016, Haryanto hasn’t raced much with only one competitive outing in the inaugural SIC888 endurance event in China last year. The Indonesian has tested various cars but none converted into a race drive.
For 2019 though, Haryanto has a full-time race programme in the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia series – the SRO Motorsports-backed Asian arm of the European Blancpain GT Series – which started only in 2017 and will enter in its third year as a championship.
The 25-year-old will race for Singapore’s T2 Motorsports squad which is making its return in the series after competing in 2017 in the GT3 category as a full Am team. In 2019, it will enter in the Pro-Am category having secured the services of Haryanto.
The Indonesian teams up with David Tjiptobiantoro and Gregory Teo where the former will race at Sepang, Buriram, Fuji and Yeongam, while the latter – who will dovetail as manager of the outfit – to race at Suzuka and Shanghai.
The trio will drive a distinctive blue and red Ferrari 488 GT3, which is the car Tjiptobiantoro and Teo raced in the 2017 season. “We are excited to be returning to Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia in 2019,” said Teo.
“We really enjoyed our first season in the championship when it was still establishing itself as Asia’s leading GT series and then watched on from a distance last year when it really made its mark.
“That’s why we’re back in 2019 with a renewed programme and driver line-up that’s capable of scoring victories. Collectively, the package looks very promising indeed.” It remains to be seen if Haryanto has any other race plans or not for the 2019 season.
The series starts on April 6-7 with the first race at Sepang (Malaysia), followed by rounds at Buriram (Thailand, May 11-12), Suzuka (Japan, June 22-23), Fuji (Japan, July 6-7), Korea circuit (South Korea, August 3-4) and Shanghai circuit (China, September 21-22).