NISMO NEWS - April 30, 2018
- Nissan Super GT machines back in action in Fuji
- Supercars look to capitalize on recent results
- Nissan-powered prototype cars race on both sides of the Atlantic
- Past and present Nissan cars celebrated with wins
Nissan targets more success at Fuji Speedway in Super GT
Fuji International Speedway, Japan – Super GT returns this week with the annual Fuji 500km event scheduled as part of Japan's annual 'Golden Week' holiday celebrations.
Practice and the race will actually be held on Thursday and Friday at the historic Fuji circuit – the scene of many previous Nissan victories and the home of the annual NISMO Festival.
Nissan will be looking to bounce back after both the No. 23 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500s of Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda and the No. 12 entry of JP de Oliveira and Mitsunori Takaboshi were hit with drive-through penalties for allegedly jumping the start at the opening round of Okayama.
Nissan has taken seven victories here at Fuji in the past 15 years, including three consecutive wins in 2014, 15 and 16.
De Oliveira and Hiro Yasuda took the pole in the most recent race-winning event in 2016 with Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli earning the win.
The Calsonic car with de Oliveira and Yasuda also took the pole and race win in 2014 – a result the new Calsonic teammates Jann Mardenborough and Daiki Sasaki are looking to emulate this weekend.
"This is a great week for Super GT with a longer 500km race and lots of fans on site with the 'Golden Week' holiday celebrations happening in Japan," Mardenborough said.
"I'm looking forward to Fuji. The long straight really suits the GT-R because of our straight-line speed, and aerodynamically the car is very good in a straight line.
"We tested here a month ago, and the car was very strong.
"We learned a great deal from Okayama and enter this weekend without any penalty weight so that'll really help – particularly in the braking zones in turn one and nine.
"I really enjoy racing at Fuji. The long straights make it easier to get through the traffic the back part of the track in sector three is a lot of fun.
"Daiki and I are both very excited about the weekend ahead. We're ready to push hard and get on the podium in GT500."
Super GT will again be streamed live this week on NISMO.tv on YouTube.
Supercars squad aim to replicate Phillip Island success out west
Barbagallo Raceway, Perth, Western Australia – Nissan Motorsport is aiming to continue its strong podium-scoring success from Phillip Island when the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship heads west this weekend to Perth's Barbagallo Raceway.
Rick Kelly scored a second and a third at the fast flowing Phillip Island circuit with Michael Caruso backing that up with a fifth-place result on Sunday.
The team will face dramatically different conditions this weekend in Western Australia. From the fast-flowing Phillip Island circuit, the transition to Barbagallo Raceway will be significant with teams do battle on a much tighter layout which where grip levels are affected by the surrounding sand.
"Perth is an interesting place to set your car up at," Kelly said.
"We found a little bit of something to help us there last year, so hopefully that similar trend is useful for us this year as well. We've come off a good result in Phillip Island last round, where we unlocked excellent pace in the car, so we know what we need to do to try and repeat that performance.
"It won't be a walk in the park, but we've done a lot of good work lately that hopefully will translate into good pace."
Prototype action for Nissan and NISMO around the world
Nissan-powered prototypes will hit the track next weekend in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The byKOLLES and ESM Nissan customer teams will do battle respectively at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
byKOLLES will kick off the WEC "Super Season" which will run through to the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The byKOLLES team just completed its pre-season testing at Monza with Oliver Webb, Dominik Kraihamer, Tom Dillmann and Rene Binder at the wheel of their Nissan-powered 3.0-liter turbo V6 - VRX30A evo prototype.
The ESM team will compete at Mid-Ohio compete with a significantly different Nissan engine - a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3-based VR38 power plant.
The team are in strong form after winning at Sebring with Pipo Derani, Johannes van Overbeek and Nico Lapierre and finishing second at Long Beach with Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel.
Nissan's past and present glory celebrated with victory
Nissan celebrated race victories of the past and present in both the US and the UK last weekend at Road Atlanta, VIRginia International Raceway and Rockingham.
Road Atlanta's "The Mitty" historic event celebrated Nissan and Datsun's racing heritage with brand showcased as the featured mark for the weekend.
Legendary Nissan and Datsun cars from famous teams including BRE and Bob Sharp Racing were on site along with racing legend and the event's Grand Marshal John Morton, who raced a replica of his 1971 championship-winning Datsun 240Z.
Saturday's all-Nissan/Datsun feature race was won by Alex McDowell aboard his 1971 Nissan Skyline GT-R.
Just 350 miles away at VIRginia International Raceway, the modern version of the 'Z' was again in victory lane with Steve Streimer taking victory in the Pirelli World Challenge touring car class.
Nissan has now won three of the four races in the class to date in 2018.
Across the Atlantic Ocean in the British GT Championship, there was more 'Z' success with RJN Motorsport's Steven Johansson and Jesse Antilla winning the GT4 PRO/AM class in their 370Z at Rockingham.
HIGH RES DOWNLOADS
Download images from previewing this week's Super GT, Supercars and IMSA events plus last weekend's historic weekend at Road Atlanta and World Challenge at VIR.#
Take a ride around Road Atlanta with Datsun legend John Morton aboard his Datsun 240Z at last weekend's "The Mitty" historic event.
- FIA WEC, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
- IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Mid-Ohio, Ohio, USA
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Barbagallo Raceway, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
- Blancpain GT Series Asia, Chang International Circuit, Thailand
- Blancpain GT Series, Silverstone, England
- European Le Mans Series/Le Mans Cup, Monza, Italy