The Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 ready for battle in Pirelli World Challenge for 2015.
Nissan Motorsports has a partnership with Always Evolving (AE) to campaign two GT Academy-NISMO Nissan GT-R GT3 racing cars for the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge season. Nissan GT Academy North America 2011 winner Bryan Heitkotter will drive one of the team cars, while Australian open wheel and GT star James Davison will pilot the second car. The drivers will pilot GT-Rs that have already triumphed at racetracks in Japan, Europe and Australia. Featuring logos from the GT Academy program, the two cars will be co-sponsored by Replay XD and NISMO.
Here, the cars make a special video debut ahead of the season opening race in Austin.
Nissan survives the longest night at the Nürburgring
Nissan survives the longest night at the Nürburgring
NÜRBURGRING, Germany- Two Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 race cars have finished the 2014 Nürburgring 24 Hours. The grueling race, held on the 25-kilometer Nordschleife, saw over 160 cars and 600 drivers compete for glory in one of the toughest racing events in the world.
The star of the show for Nissan was 2013 GT Academy Germany graduate Florian Strauss. After Lucas Ordonez was struck down with flu, the No.80 GT-R was left a man down, and despite the fact that Florian has only been racing for nine months, he had to take his full share of driving duty - eight hours of navigating the Nordschleife's 172 corners, many of which are blind.
"I wasn't too nervous, as I have been out on this track at a recent VLN race," said Strauss. "We had a bit of bad luck in the beginning, so I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to catch up again. I caught Chiyo-san (in the No.30 Nissan) at one point and we had a good battle together as we went through traffic so that was very exciting. I made sure I kept calm and got into a good rhythm to do the best I could for the team."
The bad luck Strauss mentioned was lap one contact for the No.80 GT-R, which forced Alex Buncombe to pit for repairs, instantly losing a lap on the competition. That car was then in fight back mode for the remainder of the race. Buncombe was able to lap on the pace of the leaders, but despite his best efforts and those of Nick Heidfeld and Strauss, the mountain was too high to climb.
Nick Heidfeld put in some great stints in the No.80 GT-R but came unstuck during the night when he made contact with another car.
"After Foxhole, which is a very quick part of the circuit, I came out of the compression and saw a yellow light, then straight away I saw double yellows which means you have to be travelling at 60kph," said Heidfeld. "I didn't get enough warning so I decelerated as much as I could but then came across two cars blocking the circuit. I had to choose between hitting one of them or going onto the grass. I avoided the grass as I didn't know if there were marshals there and hit one of the cars."
The resulting damage put the No.80 GT-R out of action for an hour, but once back in the race the car ran well.
"Overall I have enjoyed the race and it is good to get my first Nürburgring 24 Hours finish, despite not taking the position we hoped for," said Heidfeld. "Realistically we had the pace for a top 10 finish."
For the first eight hours of the race, the No.30 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 - driven by Michael Krumm, Kazuki Hoshino, Katsumasa Chiyo and Tetsuya Tanaka - ran strongly, but just after midnight a call rang out over the team radio to say there had been an accident, ironically at the same spot where Heidfeld later had his accident.
After exiting the Foxhole, Hoshino came across a stationery car and had to take emergency avoiding action but made hard contact with the barrier. Hoshino managed to get the GT-R back to the garage, but after a thorough inspection it became apparent that the chassis frame was too damaged to repair. The team officially withdrew the No.30 car from the race at 02:30hrs.
The highest finishing Nissan was the No.24 GT-R of Schulze Motorsport, raced by Kazanori Yamauchi, Jordan Tresson and Tobias and Michael Schulze. They crossed the line in 12th position in class.
"Before we came here, we knew what a big challenge this event was," said Darren Cox, Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales, NISMO. "We went head-to-head with established teams who have been coming here for years, and I'm proud of the job we did here. The Nordschleife is an incredible challenge so I was especially pleased to see how well Florian conducted himself here. Off track we had a great Nürburgring 24 Hours, exciting the loyal fans of this event with live streaming on NISMO.TV and welcoming a huge number of guests at NISMO Race Camp. We may not have got the results we wanted on track – through punctures, accidents and some bad luck – but we gave it our all and will be back again next year."
Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 unveiled in pit lane at Mount Panorama ahead of this weekend's 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour race
Australian driver Rick Kelly shows Alex Buncombe, Wolfgang Reip and Katsumasa Chiyo around the spectacular Bathurst circuit
BATHURST, Australia - The NISMO Athlete Global Team has arrived at Mount Panorama - and in doing so, has officially brought "Godzilla" back to Bathurst.
The last time a factory-entered Nissan GT-R raced at Bathurst was in 1992, when Jim Richards and Mark Skaife earned their second-consecutive Bathurst 1000 victory for Nissan.
This weekend at the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour, Nissan will aim to repeat that success with a line-up of four drivers from across the globe.
The team's Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, as well as drivers Rick Kelly (Australia), Alex Buncombe (England), Wolfgang Reip (Belgium) and Katsumasa Chiyo (Japan), were unveiled in pit lane at the Mount Panorama circuit today.
Kelly, a two-time Bathurst 1000 winner, comes into his first-ever 12 Hour event fresh from a GT-R NISMO GT3 test at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia last month. With the valuable testing miles under his belt, coupled with his immense Bathurst experience, Kelly is looking forward to his GT sportscar debut.
International drivers Buncombe, Reip and Chiyo are more familiar with the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 but are each making their Bathurst debut. The trio are already in awe of the 6.213km circuit after walking Mount Panorama with Kelly upon arrival. Along with Kelly, they are excited at the thought of driving the GT-R around the mountain in the first practice tomorrow (Friday) morning.
The Bathurst 12 Hour is Australia's premier GT sports car endurance race, with the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 set to compete against 18 other GT3-specification cars in the outright class. Over 40 cars will race in the 'once around the clock' event beginning Sunday morning.
Rick Kelly (Australia), NISMO Athlete Global Team, #32 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 Comments on event: "Even just standing here in pit lane the car looks incredible," said Rick Kelly.
"I had my first drive of it at Sepang a little over a week ago and it's quite an incredible car.
"For me it's an iconic weekend. It's the first time a GT-R in this sort of form has been here in 22 years since Jim Richards (and Mark Skaife) won the Bathurst 1000 in the GT-R in that famous race back in 1992.
"I am treating this race as seriously as I possibly can. I am putting my head down and backside up to try and get a result because it's obviously very different racing to what I'm used to (in V8 Supercars).
"The NISMO factory operation is really impressive. For me it has been a real eye opener to see how they go about their motorsport and you can see that in how well the car is presented. It's really impressive and for me this is a really big learning experience as well.
"I'm not quite sure exactly what to expect. I don't know the competition that well but there are a lot of really quick cars up and down pit lane and the GT-R is no exception to that. If we do a really good job on the weekend and stay out of trouble then we should be in for a really good shot to bring the GT-R home on top.
"I think the Nissan team has got a really good balance of drivers who have got a lot of experience in the GT-R NISMO GT3 and then myself having a lot of experience of this track. So we can really help each other out throughout the weekend and with the collective car and track knowledge that we have got, hopefully we can turn that into a really good result."
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