Ferrari said Kobayashi, who lost his seat with the Sauber F1 team at the end of last year, would drive a GT car for the AF Corse team with his first event the Silverstone six hours on April 14.
"I really hope I can aim for the title," the 26-year-old told the Ferrari website (www.ferrari.com).
Kobayashi was his country's sole driver in Formula One last year, finishing third in his home race at Suzuka. The new season starts in Australia this weekend without a Japanese on the grid for the first time since 2003.
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