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Click above for a high-res gallery of the FIA-GT1-spec Nissan GT-R

Nissan has announced its Global Motorsports Activities for 2009 and it looks like we'll be seeing the GT-R campaign in the FIA-GT1 category earlier than expected.

Initial reports claimed that Nissan would begin offering LeMans-spec racers to privateer teams for the 2010 FIA-GT1 season, but in an effort to test the performance and competitiveness of the platform, a NISMO-developed GT-R will run as a non-championship entry in four races in 2009. Nissan is partnering with Gigawave MotorSport on the GT-R entry and has tapped GT500 racer Michael Krumm from NISMO and Darren Turner from Gigawave to pilot the GT-R during the season. Nissan hasn't announced exactly what events the NISMO GT-R will participate in, but there's a good chance that we'll be seeing Godzilla running at LeMans.

The specs on race-ready GT-R haven't been officially revealed, but there's a possibility that NISMO will drop the twin-turbo'd V6 in favor of the 4.5-liter VK45D8 V8. Output is estimated to be between 540-590 hp and 450-500 lb-ft of torque, with a curb weight as low as 3,000 pounds.

Nissan also took the opportunity to announce its SuperGT contenders, with four teams – NISMO, Hasemi Motor Sport, Impul and Kondo Racing – each campaigning a GT-R in the GT500 class. The new SuperGT car will sport a new air-cooling system and, in keeping with the new regulations, shortened overhangs to reduce downforce. A new paddle-shift transmission is also being developed.

All the details on the drivers, the teams and Nissan's other motorsports efforts are in the press release below the fold, along with a video of the official announcement. No word yet on a possible Grand Am GT-R, but with every automaker throttling-back their motorsports efforts, we're not surprised.

[Source: Nissan via GTRBlog]


Announcement on Global Motorsports Activities for 2009

TOKYO (February 27, 2009) - Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd. (NISMO) today announced their global motorsport programme for 2009.

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."


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.

Team Composition
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).
Entrant: Team Manager: Drivers: Vehicle Name: Tyre Maker:
1 NISMO Yutaka Suzuki Satoshi Motoyama / Benoit Treluyer MOTUL AUTECH GT-R Bridgestone
3 HASEMI MOTOR SPORT Masahiro Hasemi Ronnie Quintarelli / Hironobu Yasuda TBA Michelin
12 TEAM IMPUL Kazuyoshi Hoshino Tsugio Matsuda / Sebastien Philippe IMPUL Calsonic GT-R Bridgestone
24 KONDO RACING Masahiko Kondo João Paulo de Oliveira / Seiji Ara HIS ADVAN KONDO GT-R Yokohama

2. Private racers category

1. March Cup series

Providing amateur racers a chance to experience the thrill of auto racing, Nissan holds the March Cup races (East Japan Series, West Japan Series, Nissan March Championship Cup). This pits private racers with actual racing conditions, with each car equipped with a data logger and GPS to record the racing lines taken by drivers. As previously announced, 2009 is the final run for the March Cup series.

2. Japanese domestic private teams
1. SUPER GT GT300 class
Technical assistance will be given to private teams competing in Fairlady Zs.
2. Super Taikyu series
Technical assistance will be given to private teams competing in Fairlady Zs in both ST1 and ST3 classes.
3. Global Race activities

Aiming for a 3rd championship win, Nissan and NISMO will provide technical assistance to its China partner Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd., which enters its Nissan Tiidas in the 1600cc Class of the China Circuit Championship (CCC). The event is the country's premier domestic racing event, where locally manufactured production-based race cars compete. Nissan Tiida won the title in 2006 and 2008.

South Africa
With 8 consecutive Driver's championship wins, Nissan seeks to retain its title in the South Africa Off-Road Championship. Dominating the event will be the Nissan Navara, well known for its controlled performance and rugged reliability.

To check the performance of cars to be sold to racing teams competing in the FIA-GT1 class, a NISMO-developed car will run as a non-championship entry in 4 races in 2009, entered 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).

Gigawave MotorSport, a racing team based in county Essex, England, has been competing in the FIA GT Championship since 2007. The team's parent company Gigawave Ltd., as an official partner of the FIA GT Championship, provides on-board cameras for real-time coverage of the races. http://www.gigawavemotorsport.com/

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      So... Rather than show the world that the GT-R is a fantastic car at everything....

      They're giving it to a tuning company that is going to effectively just make it like every other car, but still have it *look* like a GT-R...

      That doesn't make sense. If they want to show the GT-R's prowess, why not just beef up the tranny to handle some extra power from the stock engine, lighten the sucker up, get some fancy aerodynamics crap on it, and then race that. If they just convert it to RWD and a V8, it's not a GT-R anymore... It's just like everything else.

      For the record, I'm not a huge GT-R fan to begin with, I much prefer the ZR1, but I hate when companies say that this "race version" of their car is amazing, when it's not even the same car. It might look the same, but it is not.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Do your homework.

        Its not Nissan's fault that turbocharging and AWD are outlawed in many types of road racing.

        They are FORCED to race like everyone else. So is Audi, if you haven't checked. They didn't build a GT3 car that is RWD because they like wasting money. They wanted to compete and that's the only way how.

        Until someone creates a popular racing series that allows more stock configurations (Koni isn't exactly the most famous in the world yet), this is the way it is.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Fair enough... but at the same time, I think it's a bit misleading to call it a GT-R race car, if it's really just a GT-R body with the same stuff underneath as every other racer.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And when I say Le Mans, I meant that as an example.

        Its also true of any FIA/ACO series.

        If I were Nissan, I'd try to make a 370Z car instead. Indeed it would make more sense in my mind. Heck, a Skyline (G37) would work.

        But... they want people to associate the GT-R with big-name racing. So what you gonna do?
        • 6 Years Ago

        I think that its a bit discriminatory against carmakers that want to use technology on their road cars that make them attractive to their customers...

        ...but can't advertise in the events with the biggest audiences.

        What you are inadvertently saying is that only RWD models are allowed to be billboards in Le Mans.

        Nissan doesn't like that. They want advertisement for the GT-R. Not some car that doesn't exist. Audi doesn't like that. So they built a RWD R8 GT3. (aside from advertising TDI with an LMP1 car).

        Most racing isn't really about realism anyway. Its about name and sight recognition.

        I agree that Nascar-like rebadging (RWD V8- powered Taurus, Malibu, Avenger, and Camry shells all on the exact same 'car of tomorrow platform) makes the experience more 'tacky'.

        But then again, its these tacky events that make the big bucks....

        If you could get people to watch 'stock' car racing instead of 'stockcar' racing, I'd see your point. But that has proven difficult in the past.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They're not outlawed in Speed GT. Audi used to run the A6 2.7T in that series which is both AWD and turbocharged. So they'll bring a real GT-R to that series, right?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Beautiful, just beautiful.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Right .......let's change the world wide rules so they suit one entry!!! That sure makes a lot of sense !!!!!! FIA is just getting to the point where the attendence is good and the interest is high again. They have to standardize the rules to make it viable economically for many brands to compete. Let's get this sled on the track and watch it compete with the big boys under equal rules. I think the fan boys won't like the results. And please don't post opinions on something you know nothing about .....like FIA GT racing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hope it RAPES the competition so that we can say "Godzilla Owned The Covettes, Porsche's And Ferrari's" lol, that will be the day.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, that's a really nice color, the one on the pic's.
        • 6 Years Ago
        probably a bare carbon test car, I feel every performance car should be offered with bare carbon as a body color choice, haha

        Should be an impressive car, I'm excited to see how it does.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree... best looking GT-R I've seen ever! I don't know what else is different aside from the color and rear wing, but this one is awesome!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I couldn't agree with you more MGS4WT. I hate that they change it all around making it a V8 and RWD. I remember when the Audi's use to run a 4wd sedan in what I think was the ALMS series and it was as exciting to watch them take off at the start of a race and charge up the inside with 2 wheels on the grass.

      I don't like it when they make all the cars the same either.

      I think it might be a bit more balanced than the ZR1 and not quite the monster to drive. We'll never know now will we.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It was also funny to watch them slide right off the track after about 3 hard laps because the front tires and brakes had been all used up from the simple fact that those cars were way too nose-heavy. Great idea for a qualifying session, not so much for any sort of race longer than 10 laps...

        Back to the subject though, had to run home at lunch and change my pants. That car looks bitchin. I'll admit I'm a Gran Turismo 1 Skyline fan (starting w/ the R32)
        The 33 was my fav... til now
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Audi quattro's in the late 80's and early 90's dominated road racing series they entered.
        Imsa GTO
        DTM, where they entered the big Audi V8 quattro against the small M3's and 190 Evo's. The result was the big saloon eating up the small M3's and 190's in both the corners and on the straights. Hence the first brand to ever win the DTm championship twice in a row.
        They where also very succesfull in the various european and asian touringcar championships after which quattro was eventually banned from most classes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Excuses about AWD and turbocharging penalties don't make up for the fact that this will likely bear no relationship to a GT-R. If Nissan wants to go out and win races, that's great. But if it is being done it a car with RWD and a V8 it's not being done in a GT-R no matter what the paint job says and no matter what the body shell is shaped like.

      Race the real GT-R in the series that will allow it. There will be plenty of room in Speed GT with no more Cadillacs there.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Exactly this. where is the real GT-R racing?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'd love to see a privateer tackle Speed GT/SCCA World Challenge.

        Didn't nissanfreak87 say he was on the team that ran a Skyline in ALMS GT2?

        I also feel the car will do great when it hits the track in these series. Which is one of the reasons I want to see it out there.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not a chance that you'll see this car at LeMans this year. First of all, LeMans is not part of the FIA championship. Secondly, the ACO has already released their 2009 LeMans entry list.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It will be exciting to see it run, but the fact that it will end up being V8 and RWD somewhat dillutes my enthusiasm.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I totally agree. It is like if the Vettes were running turbo 4's and AWD. It's just not right.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Correction to Autoblog:

        "NISMO will drop the twin-turbo'd V6 in favor of the 4.5-liter VK45D8 V8 used in the SuperGT GT500 race cars"

        The SuperGT cars use 3.4L V-8s which are shared with the Formula Nippon cars. They have nothing in common with the VK45DE.

        They are designed to be LMP2, and LMP1 compatible as of 2011.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @temple, wrong again

        It does indeed use a 4.5l NA V8.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Time to rule yet another venue. Let the bitches start crying, haha.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can't hardly wait to see this in action.
      • 6 Years Ago
      3000 pounds is pretty heavy for a gt1 car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The current 2009 GT-R racing in the SuperGT GT500 weighs 1,100kgs (2,425g).

        SuperGT rules require the stock chassis to be used, but body panels can be changed. Also, as of 2008, AWD is no longer allowed and a 3.4L F-N spec V-8 is mandated. If they intend on using the Super GT car as a base Nissan has no worries in competitiveness.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's about 500# heavier than the rest of the GT1 field. If they're running a stock frame, then that would explain the weight since the GT-R is way overbuilt for stiffness.


        • 6 Years Ago
        Temple you are wrong. GT500 cars are tube-frame custom built racers. All of them. The GT-R is no exception.
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