Think the Nissan GT-R is heavy enough as is? It still manages to run circles around most everything on the road, but there are limits. Especially when it's placed on a race track. And those limits are becoming a source of controversy in the nascent FIA GT1 World Championship.
The series' inaugural race took place at Abu Dhabi's Yas Island Marina circuit this past weekend, but the FIA held a test session beforehand in an apparent effort to equalize performance between the varied machinery being campaigned. Former F1 driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen took each of the six types of cars in the series for a few hot laps. While he was supposed to take 10 to15 laps in each car, he took fewer, and those were unevenly distributed, according to reports.
Based on his feedback, series organizers then imposed weight penalties on the different vehicles. The Corvette C6.R and Lamborghini Murcielago R-SV were each saddled with 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of ballast, and the Maserati MC12 was burdened with an extra 25 kilos (55 lbs). The Matech Ford GT was left as is, while the Aston Martin DBR9 was awarded a larger air restrictor to help it catch up. The Nissans, however, were given 30 kilograms (66 lbs) of extra weight, and as a result were unable to keep pace with the competition.
Subsequently, the two squads campaigning the race-spec GT-R – Swiss Racing Team and
*UPDATE: SRO, the series organizers behind the FIA GT1 World Championship, has informed Autoblog that Sumo Power was not part of the boycott threats as previously reported, and that Swiss Racing Team has since confirmed its participation for the Silverstone race, which is expected to proceed with full participation from the entire grid.