For 2009, Nissan continues to participate in the SUPER GT series, GT500 class, which is the highest level in Japanese domestic motorsports, with the Nissan GT-R. Nissan will also support grassroots activities in select countries outside of Japan to help nurture the motorsports culture, which has millions of fans throughout the world.
“Motorsports is an important part of Nissan’s strategy for building a strong brand with consumers who share our passion for high-performance driving,” said Carlos Tavares, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. “In addition to being an important touch-point for consumers, motorsports serve as a dynamic proving ground for automotive innovation.”
1. SUPER GT
The R35 model Nissan GT-R will be entered in the GT500 class of SUPER GT. This year’s entries will incorporate changes that include an improved air-cooling system and a paddle-shift transmission. The vehicles also conform to the racing body’s latest regulation changes to decrease down force through shortened vehicle overhang. NISMO provides technical assistance and vehicle development to all participating teams.
This year’s line-up of NISMO, HASEMI MOTORSPORT, TEAM IMPUL and KONDO RACING will deploy 1 car each for a total of 4 Nissan GT-Rs that will race in the GT500 class series. Kunihiko Kakimoto remains as general manager in charge of Nissan related teams with the NISMO team managed by Yutaka Suzuki. HASEMI MOTOR SPORT team welcomes to its roster Hironobu Yasuda, who trained in the rigorous Nissan Driver Development Program (NDDP)
Teams and drivers:
Nismo (Motul Autech): Satoshi Motoyama/Benoit Treluyer
Hasemi: Ronnie Quintarelli/Hironobu Yasuda
Impul (Calsonic): Tsugio Matsuda/Sebastien Philippe
Kondo (HIS Advan): João Paulo de Oliveira /Seiji Ara
For Europe, to check the performance of cars to be sold to racing teams competing in the FIA-GT1 class, a NISMO-developed GT-R will run as a non-championship entry in 4 races in 2009, in a team partnership with Gigawave MotorSport. It is expected that the car is to be driven by Michael Krumm (NISMO) and Darren Turner (Gigawave).