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Rossiter cleared for Super GT return after skipping race

Rachit Thukral

Impul Nissan driver Rossiter was taken to hospital after qualifying at Autopolis a fortnight ago, and was subsequently advised by doctors to skip the following day’s race.

The announcement of his absence was made hours before the race, with Katsumasa Chiyo drafted in as a last-minute replacement.

Rossiter has now fully recovered in the two-week break between the two races, and will return to the wheel of the #12 GT-R in first practice on Saturday.

“Yeah, I had some issue with my right ear,” Rossiter told Motorspsort.com. “On Saturday it already it was bad enough and after qualifying I asked to visit the hospital. 

“The result of this on Saturday, the decision was taken by the doctors for me not to participate in the race. You know at the time of course I was very frustrated but the doctors here have your best interest at heart. 

“I respect the decision from the doctors, from NISMO and Team Impul. It was very difficult decision for everybody but I thank them for their good decision, my recovery was very fast. Already on Tuesday after the race weekend I had everything back to normal. 

“This was the most important thing for my health and everything’s been really good for the last week. I’ve been testing [the DS Techeetah] Formula E [car] back in Europe and speed is really good.

"I’m really happy to be back here this weekend and happy that this problem was solved so quickly and grateful for the support from the team, NISMO and GTA."

This weekend's SUPER GT race at Sugo will be streamed live and for free on Motorsport.tv from 5:00 am GMT.

Rossiter has yet to win a GT500 race since leaving the Lexus camp at the end of 2018 to join Impul, with a podium at a rain-shortened race at Okayama being his and teammate Daiki Sasaki’s best result of the year.

But Impul scored a third-place finish at Sugo last year and was also the quickest of the Nissan teams in an in-season test at the same venue in August.

Asked if Sugo is a track which suits the Nissan GT-R, Rossiter said: "Yes and no. In the test we didn’t have such a good feeling but many things have changed since the test. 

“And we’ve made a good choice for the tyres this weekend, looking for the weather. So we will do our best. We are running out of races to get us on the podium and to get a win.

"So maximum motivation this weekend to do everything possible to bring a victory for Team Impul."

#12 Team Impul Nissan GT-R: James Rossiter

#12 Team Impul Nissan GT-R: James Rossiter Masahide Kamio

Masahide Kamio