Tarran Mackenzie will make his debut in the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours this weekend after getting a last-minute call-up to race as part of the Endurance World Championship winning FCC TSR Honda team.
The 2021 British Superbike Champion will replace the injured Josh Hook in the Honda factory-backed French squad, joining Mike di Meglio and Alan Techer for what will be his first outing at the famed endurance event.
Mackenzie has already completed several days of testing at Suzuka in recent months, though he was not originally slated to compete.
However, Hook’s injury has opened the door for the Scotsman to participate in one of the most revered Superbike events of the year.
Team manager Masakazu Fujii said in a brief statement: “I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of performance he [Mackenzie] will show us. It also helps with the strategy [having three riders instead of only two], and it’s an important step in our race preparations.”
It comes hot on the heels of his shock maiden WorldSSP win with the Czech-based MIE Racing team on its home soil at Most.
Mackenzie surged up the order from 22nd on the grid after staying on track upon the arrival of rain while many of his rivals to pit for treaded rubber. As well as marking a first win for himself, it was also a first short course World Championship race win for Midori Moriwaki’s MIE Racing team.
His appearance in the FCC TSR Honda team comes after the team made headlines at last year’s Suzuka 8 Hours when Gino Rea suffered life-threatening injuries in an accident during a practice session.
While the team would go on to suffer a difficult race in Japan itself, FCC TSR Honda would go on to clinch the EWC title at the end of the season.