Miki Koyama graduates to Super GT
Formula Regional Japan champion Miki Koyama will join Anest Iwata Racing for the endurance rounds in GT300, becoming the first woman in 11 years to race in Japan's premier sportscar series SuperGT
Miki Koyama has been announced as the third driver of the new Anest Iwata Racing with Arnage outfit in Super GT GT300, graduating to Japan's premier sportscar championship. Koyama, 25, was crowned champion in the 2022 Formula Regional Japan after a dominant season and will now drive the Lexus RC F GT3. Anest Iwata - an industrial machine manufacturer - will partner with experienced team Arnage Racing to field the #50 RC F GT3 in the GT300 class, launching the Anest Iwata Racing project with three rookie drivers and Gran Turismo as main partner. After a few seasons in Japanese F4, Koyama was selected in 2019 to enter the inaugural edition of the all-female W Series championship, where she soon proved to be competitive. Koyama set the fastest lap at the very first race and was fourth in Misano, in what would be her best finish of the season. She would finish seventh in the championship and returned to the following on-track season in 2021. Despite a good start with a top five at the season opener in Austria, Koyama's second season in W Series was hampered by a series of mechanical troubles that put her in 14th position. Back in Japan, though, Koyama landed a seat in Formula Regional Japan after joining the Toyota GR development program. Teaming up with top squad SuperLicense, Miki Koyama had one of the most remarkable seasons, claiming the title after seven race victories and 17 podiums out of 17 races. With a third place as her worst result of the year, Miki Koyama mathematically secured the Formula Regional Japan title with three races to go at Fuji Speedway, becoming the first ever woman to win a FIA-sanctioned mixed-gender single seater championship. Koyama was confirmed as part of the Toyota driver development programme for 2023, and having completed a few test days, she will join the Anest Iwata Racing with Arnage for her debut in Super GT. She will be the first woman in 11 years to race in the top Japanese championship, since Swiss Cyndie Allemann last raced in the series in 2012. Miki - who will drive the endurance races - will team up with Brazilian Igor Fraga, one of the few esports champions able to successfully make the transition to a professional racing career, and Yuga Furutani. Having raced in Formula Regional European Championship, FIA F3 and having claimed the Toyota Racing Series title in 2020, Fraga moved to Japan to pursue opportunities in the competitive world of Super GT. Furutani will also step up from single seaters to sports cars; he won the 2021 Formula Regional Japan title and then raced in Super Formula Lights in 2022.