NISMO NEWS - FEBRUARY 19, 2018
- Nissan Motorpsorts on the pace at Supercars test
- Nissan and Datsun featured at the "Mitty" at Road Atlanta
- Jay Leno rides with GT Academy ace Ricardo Sanchez
NISSAN MOTORSPORT READY FOR 2018 AFTER PRE-SEASON SUPERCARS TEST
Sydney Motorsport Park, Sydney, NSW, Australia – Nissan Motorsport is gearing up for the first round of the Supercars Championship with added enthusiasm following a strong showing at the series' pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Michael Caruso led the quartet of Nissan drivers during the test, setting the fastest time in the morning session and the third fastest time in the afternoon. Rick Kelly also scored the fifth fastest time overall for the day.
The test allowed the returning drivers in the 2018 lineup – Rick Kelly, Michael Caruso and Simona De Silvestro – to get to grips with the updated tire for the series, as well as allow newcomer Andre Heimgartner to turn laps in the Nissan Altima Supercar for the first time.
"The pre-season test was a really exciting day at the track," Caruso said.
"We welcomed drive.com.au to the team and we’re delighted with how the car looks on track.
"We also showed good consistent speed across the day. So these are the sort of days that give the team added enthusiasm to head to the first round of the year."
Andre Heimgartner was able to lean on the experience of Todd Kelly for his Nissan debut.
"The pre-season test was the first time I got to run the Nissan Altima, so I learned a lot even just from my out lap," Heimgartner said.
"It was really helpful to have Todd [Kelly] on-site sharing his experience.
"So we got through a pretty big program and have plenty of ideas to work on ahead of Adelaide."
The Nissan Motorsport squad will be on track for the first race of the 2018 Supercars season on March 1-4 for the Adelaide 500.
JOHN MORTON NAMED GRAND MARSHAL FOR 2018 "MITTY" AT ROAD ATLANTA
Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA, USA – Nissan and Datsun will be featured at the Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) Speedfest at the 2018 Classic Motorsports "Mitty" with John Morton serving as grand marshal.
The world-class historic race weekend returns to Road Atlanta in the US April 26 - 29.
Morton is best remembered for winning a pair of SCCA 2.5 Trans-Am in a Datsun 510 titles and claiming two SCCA C Production championships in the brand's 240Z all between 1970 and 1972.
Both cars were campaigned by Brock Racing Enterprises and wore the team's iconic red, white and blue livery, including those now legendary diagonal door stripes.
Some 15 years later, Morton was also a key team member of Nissan's IMSA-dominating GTP ZX-Turbo program.
A member of multiple motorsport halls of fame, Morton is a regular on the vintage race circuit and has competed many times with HSR, the sanctioning body for the Mitty weekend.
Nissan North America will celebrate their featured marque status by sending several cars to the event from their heritage collection, including the very same Datsun 510 Morton raced.
GT ACADEMY ACE
RICARDO SÁNCHEZ SHOWS JAY LENO HOW GRAN TURISMO TRANSLATES TO ON-TRACK SKILL
Willow Springs Raceway, CA, USA – Nissan PlayStation GT Academy winner Ricardo Sánchez recently showed Jay Leno just how well the racing game Gran Turismo translates to on-track skill in a recent appearance on "Jay Leno's Garage".
As a NISMO athlete, Sánchez has since gone on to compete for Nissan in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, the Dubai and Spa 24 hour events as well as the Pirelli World Challenge series in the U.S.
Despite having never been to Willow Springs track in California, Sánchez was on the pace immediately in the Nissan GT-R NISMO thanks to practice laps on Gran Turismo.
Leno was initially doubtful of how well the virtual track driving would translate to real life. However, his fears were quickly appeased as Sánchez hit his marks perfectly and didn't put a wheel wrong during the run.
The episode featuring the NISMO Athlete was recently screened on the CNBC network in the US.
VIDEO Check out Ricardo Sanchez behind the wheel of the NIssan GT-R with Jay Leno.
HIGH RES DOWNLOADS
Download images from the Supercars pre-season test in Australia as well as Ricardo Sanchez appearing on "Jay Leno's Garage" in the US.
Take a look at the timelapse of the build of the newly-evolved Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.
- Adelaide 500, Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Adelaide Street Circuit, South Australia, Australia
- Nissan FIA Formula E Concept LIvery Reveal. Geneva Auto Show, Switzerland
- 12 Hours of Sebring, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, Florida, USA