So, the Fuji showdown has been declined - no exceptions will be made for the regulations to allow GT500 cars to run alongside the normal WEC field.

As a Super GT journalist, the reaction to this whole scenario has been intriguing to analyse. It’s been overwhelmingly positive - but I don’t believe that’s a product of the possible race that lay ahead. The fact that Bandoh-san offered a public challenge rather than coming to a private deal adds some kind of mystical, dramatised back-story to an otherwise oddball deal. It’s a very rare thing for motorsport in the 21st century. It’s almost surreal. It smacks of publicity stunt from a cold, hard analytical view, but it smacks of raw passion in the eyes of a mystified and awestruck racing fan. The end result would be three manufacturers getting some decent marketing exposure, helped by Super GT’s rise in popularity, giving something for the Japanese fans to cheer about.

If we pinpoint the second part of that sentence though, we can spin out a world of opportunity - it helps to show off the series, it helps to answer the debate about their pace, it inadvertently encourages the rest of the racing world to cheer on these three cars with the inklings of an underdog story, yet the secrecy and still relatively little knowledge of the series adds yet more mystery - the challenge being the final piece of the puzzle to finish it off. Everything is so perfectly poised. It doesn’t particularly matter whether the race goes ahead or not - it got us all talking. It ticked the publicity box, and it did it in the most memorable and awesome way possible.

Let’s not pretend GT500 cars haven’t run outside of their natural habitat before, or that Fuji hasn’t hosted JGTC crossover races before. The proposition itself isn’t overwhelmingly cool - the presentation of the proposition is unspeakably so.