NISMO NEWS - FEBRUARY 26, 2018
- NISMO aces meet the fans in Yokohama
- Supercars season kicks off on the streets of Adelaide
- Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 shakedown at Fuji
NISSAN/NISMO SUPER GT ACES MEET THE FANS AT GLOBAL HQ
YOKOHAMA, Japan – Nissan unveiled its 2018 motorsport plans for fans live in Japan on Saturday with the stars of the Super GT championship gathering at global HQ to meet the fans.
Nissan/NISMO enter the 2018 championship with an updated team and driver line-up with NDDP Racing with B-Max making its GT500 debut as a team and Japanese Formula 3 champion Mitsunori Takaboshi ready for his first full-season of GT500 competition.
The No. 23 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 of Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda begin their fifth season together as a pairing – the Italian and Japanese combination looking to score their third championship together.
“We’ve been teammates for so long. I think over time the relationship has improved for the better and we are on the best terms now,” Quintarelli said.
“We won the title in 2014 and 2015, and we were almost there in ‘16 and ‘17, so we know we can do it.
“Along with Tsugio, and the whole team, we’re going to work very hard to try and bring that win home.”
GT Academy ace Jann Mardenborough begins his second GT500 season with a new teammate – young Japanese star and two-time GT500 race winner Daiki Sasaki.
“I worked with Sasaki-san two years ago in Formula 3 as a teammate,” Mardenborough said.
“He’s really fast, and we’re both the same height, which is useful in driver changes.
“In testing so far, we’ve been very quick, both of us the same speed. I’m looking forward to the season.
“In the test, the feeling in the car was a lot better. I really enjoyed driving the car. It was fun for the first time since Thailand last year. We found some new settings, learning different tires, and it was good, I enjoyed it.”
Veteran Satoshi Motoyama and Katsumasa Chiyo begin their third season together this year but will drive for NDDP Racing with B-Max.
Takaboshi will join JP de Oliveira aboard the Forum Engineering No. 24 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500.
Saturday’s event was open to fans at the Nissan Gallery at global HQ with the 2018-spec GT500 and GT300 GT-Rs on stage with the drivers and team executives.
The opening round of the Super GT Championship will be held at Okayama on April 7-8.
NISSAN MOTORSPORT KICK OFF 2018 ON THE STREETS OF ADELAIDE
ADELAIDE, South Australia, Australia – Nissan Motorsport has its sights set on turning its pre-season speed into results this weekend as the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship kicks off on the streets of Adelaide.
Both Michael Caruso and Rick Kelly were in the top five at the pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park, with Caruso driving a newly-built Nissan Altima chassis.
Caruso will be aiming to repeat his 2016 form when his results, including a second place in the opening race, left him as the championship leader after the opening round.
“The first race of the year is always really exciting. I’ll be debuting new colours this year as well as a new Nissan Altima chassis,” Caruso said.
“No. 23 has run faultlessly at the shakedown and pre-season test. The whole team has been super busy since Newcastle and we can’t wait to take to the track.
“The Adelaide circuit is a version of the old Grand Prix track and is always a favourite event for fans and drivers. The circuit is a proper street circuit and really rewarding when you get it right. Turn eight is the highlight: a fast right-hander that punishes even the slightest mistake.”
All teams will continue to work on mastering the new spec tyre that is being used in the championship in 2018.
“The new tyre will be something we’ll try to work out very early on so we can get into the business of developing a good race package,” Caruso said.
“We had a great run in Adelaide in 2016 and left leading the Championship. Hopefully we’ll be in a position to repeat something similar this time around.”
Alongside Caruso and Kelly, Simona De Silvestro returns for her second full-time Supercars season while Andre Heimgartner will make his Nissan debut on the streets of Adelaide.
Watch the shakedown for the newly-evolved 2018-spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 with Michael Krumm and Masataka Yanagida at the wheel at Fuji Speedway.
HIGH RES DOWNLOADS
Download images from the Nissan HQ fan event last weekend and preview images for this weekend's opening round of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship on the streets of Adelaide.
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