Nissan GT-R and Maserati MC12 at 2009 FIA GT test session – Click either image for high-res gallery
If you think you've seen schisms in motorsports by following the on-again, off-again rifts in F1, Indy racing and rallying, those are nothing compared to the fisticuffs endured in sportscar racing over the past few decades. In addition to the Rolex Daytona series and the IMSA, to name just two, the FIA and ACO have been running separate series with separate rules for years. But as the former realigns its sportscar series and the latter further branches out from the Le Mans venue itself to series around the world, the two France-based governing bodies have been getting their ducks in a row. And new coordination between the organizations could lead to some cars which had been relegated to one over the other to bridge the gap and compete for top honors in both.
Among those potential series crossovers are the racing-spec Nissan GT-R and the Maserati MC12, both of which comply with the new FIA GT regulations which ACO is now ready to adopt. Based on the Japanese Super GT-spec GT-R racer and with input from Nismo, British racing team Gigawave Motorsports fielded a GT-R in four races of the 2009 FIA GT Championship in preparation for a full-scale assault on the reformed GT1 World Championship next year.
Meanwhile, the Maserati MC12 has been dominating the GT1 category in the FIA GT Championship for the past five years running, winning back-to-back titles, but had remained outside the Le Mans rules as the ACO refused to homologate the Enzo-based racer. With the door to Le Mans now opened – and the corresponding series in Europe, America and Asia potentially along with it – the teams fielding both cars are reportedly enthusiastic to meet the ACO's requirements with backing from their respective factories.