Nissan's GT500 GT-R to tackle SuperGT with V8 power
The debut of the production Nissan GT-R remains one of the hottest happenings in the automotive world this past year, but the return of the GT-R to Japan's SuperGT series is of equal importance. We've already seen what the new racer will look like as it gears up for its assault on the GT500 class, and today, Nissan finally released all the technical details about the SuperGT competitor. Let the bench racing begin.
As rumored, the GT-R will be powered by the VK45DE V8 that's been successfully campaigned in the 350Z over the last two years. The naturally aspirated mill produces 500+ hp and well over 376 lb.-ft. of torque. The 4.5-liter sends power to a six-speed sequential gearbox and on down to the rear wheels. Nissan opted for the V8 instead of the production GT-R's twin-turbo'd 3.8-liter V6 because the new mill is still too green to compete in the upper echelon of motorsport and the torque output isn't up to GT500 standards – something that's key to competing in SuperGT.
Nissan's Works program will be fielding five GT-Rs spread across four teams, with the first race set to begin March 15-16 at Suzuka. Nissan's full press release is posted after the jump.
NISSAN ANNOUNCES NEW 2008 SEASON MOTORSPORT PROGRAMS
- New GT-R to challenge for SUPER GT Series in Japan -
TOKYO (January 31, 2008) - Nissan Motor Co. Ltd and Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd. (NISMO) today announced their 2008 Global Motorsport Programs.
Highlighting the company's continued commitment to global motorsport, Nissan will enter the all-new GT-R into the premium Japanese motorsport series, SUPER GT.
2008 marks the return of GT-R to racing, following the transition from the R34 model to the Z five years ago. Continuing from last year, Mr. Kunihiko Kakimoto will be the General Manager for all Nissan related teams, and the NISMO Team Manager will be Mr. Yoshitaka Iijima.
NISMO will give technical support and car development support to teams entering the NISSAN GT-R in SUPER GT. As a part of the Nissan team group, NISMO, HASEMI MOTORSPORT, TEAM IMPUL, and KONDO RACING will enter the GT500 class with a total of five NISSAN GT-Rs.
The 2008 NISSAN GT-R has been developed with the following areas of focus:
1. Reducing parts weight, lowering the center of gravity and optimizing weight distribution to improve handling and vehicle dynamics
2. Using the aerodynamics of the new NISSAN GT-R to decrease drag and increase down-force
3. Increased power and improved efficiency from the VK45 engine
♦Teams Car # Entrant Manager Driver Car Name
22 NISMO Yoshitaka Iijima Michael Krumm
Masataka Yanagida MOTUL AUTECH GT-R
23 Satoshi Motoyama
Benoit Treluyer XANAVI NISMO GT-R
3 HASEMI MOTOR SPORT Masahiro Hasemi Ronnie Quintarelli
Naoki Yokomizo YellowHat YMS TOMICA GT-R
12 TEAM IMPUL Kazuyoshi Hoshino Tsugio Matsuda
Sebastien Philippe CALSONIC IMPUL GT-R
24 KONDO RACING Masahiko Kondo Joao Paolo de Oliveira
Seiji Ara ADVAN Clarion GT-R
A variety of motorsport programs will be supported by Nissan
March Cup Race/Nissan racing school
A total of 11 races run through regional championships (EAST Japan Series, WEST Japan Series, and NISSAN MARCH Champion Cup) using the March compact car. By standardizing on-board data-loggers, entrants can steadily learn how to improve driving skills, as well as the physical excitement of a racing car.
In addition, Nissan will conduct racing schools at each circuit before races using a March Cup car to give circuit guidance and technical support. Since 2008, Nissan motorsport has added new classes and technology into the cars to help make this entry-level support even more accessible.
National privateer support:
SUPER GT GT300 class
Give technical support to privateer teams entering the Fairlady Z.
Super Taikyu series
Give technical support to privateer teams entering the ST-1 class or ST-3 class with a Fairlady Z.
Nissan Driver Development Program (NDDP)/Formula Challenge Japan (FCJ)
To educate young drivers and support the Formula Challenge Japan, FCJ, series started in 2006. Nismo will be responsible for the maintenance of engines managed by the organizers. In addition, Nismo will select four drivers as scholarship drivers and give them support to enter the FCJ.
Beginning 2007, to select a Nissan Advance Scholarship driver and send him to Formula Renault in England, where he will gain from the experience of racing in the competitive Formula Renault through one season.
To continue supporting Dongfeng Ghia Sports, a team entering the Nissan Tiida in the 1600cc class of the CCC (China Circuit Championship) touring car series since 2006.
In China, the CCC is the most competitive national championship for racing cars based on standard production cars. Dongfeng Nissan has a continuing partnership with leading Chinese team, Ghia Sports. The Tiida campaigned by Ghia Sports was first in 2005 and second in 2006.
Nissan South Africa has won the South African Off-Road Championship series for the last seven consecutive years. This year they will enter the series with the Nissan Navara pick-up truck. In addition, Nissan will compete in the South African Production Car Championship with a 350Z (Fairlady Z).
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