Three circuits usually visited by the Japanese series – Okayama, Sugo and Autopolis – were axed in the wake of the pandemic, while planned overseas visits to Malaysia’s Sepang and Thailand’s Buriram tracks also fell by the wayside.
That left just three venues to make up the 2020 schedule, with the championship visiting Fuji four times, Suzuka twice and Motegi twice.
This was perceived to have favoured Toyota, whose GR Supra was strongest around the low-downforce Fuji layout, while rival manufacturers Honda and Nissan both fared better around the other tracks that placed less of a premium on straight-line speed.
However, the provisional 2021 schedule features all eight venues that were supposed to be visited this year, and although doubts remain as to whether the international races will go ahead, the final calendar is likely to place much more emphasis on high-downforce tracks.
“Next year it will be a lot better for us,” Baguette told Motorsport.com. “More tracks and obviously Toyota will be less strong because we aren’t going to Fuji four times.
“The calendar will suit Honda even more, I think. So for sure we will have a strong package next year, and I hope we can go for the title.”
Koudai Tsukakoshi, Bertrand Baguette, #17 KEIHIN NSX-GT
Despite the advantage of visiting its ‘home’ track four times, Toyota was still narrowly beaten to this year’s title by Honda as Team Kunimitsu pair Naoki Yamamoto and Tadasuke Makino snatched the title away from TOM’S man Ryo Hirakawa.
Koudai Tsukakoshi, Bertrand Baguette (#17 KEIHIN NSX-GT)
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