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The Tokachi-bound R35 Nissan GT-R is on a carbon-rich diet, as evidenced by images captured by our new friends at GTR-World. On the outside, the trunk lid, hood and side mirrors have been replaced with carbon fiber bits and the rear-quarter windows have been swapped out in favor of lightweight acrylic pieces. The stripped cockpit gets a carbon fiber racing bucket, a fire suppression system (with a carbon fiber mounting bracket) and a C.F. gauge and dash surround that's expected to migrate to the

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Just a day after Nissan's formal announcement that it plans to campaign a race-prepped R35 GT-R in the Tokachi 24-hour race, GTR-World has procured a few pics of the coupe undergoing its transformation. The GT-R appears to be getting aligned at the NISMO Omori factory (about 60 miles from Tokyo), equipped with a full roll cage and a set of the same Volk TE37s originally spied on a mystery mule back in December. As with any competition car, weight reduction is high on the priority list, so NISMO

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We're shooting from the hip this week for Podcast #71. Rather than prepare, we're going with gut reactions. Starting it off, we mull over the loss of the USGP from Indianapolis, and postulate on where else F1 may pop up in the US. An F1 race on the Vegas strip would be the bomb. Staying with motorsports, we marvel at how Team SARD spanked everyone extremely hard at Tokachi with a hybridized Supra GT. We're sure that racing will improve the hybrid breed at a much steeper pace than conventional po

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Toyota can now lay claim to having fielded the first hybrid vehicle to win an endurance race. The Denso SARD Supra HV-R won the Tokachi 24-hour race in convincing fashion, finishing 19 laps up on the second place car for a total of 616. The hybridized Super GT-spec Supra took the pole, lead all day, and opened up a significant gap in the final hours of the competition. It also had the fastest lap of the event. Powered by a 4,4480cc 3UZ-FE V8 augmented with a regenerative braking system, in-wheel

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Al Gore III's 100 mph police-interrupted ride in his Prius? Pfft. Boooo-ring. While media outlets all over the place got breathless over a Prius' ability to hit the century mark, there's been some serious hybrid performance stuff going on in Japan. No, not with Lexus. The Denso SARD Supra HV-R, strangely ignored in most English-language outlets save for Autoblog and AutoblogGreen, has done quite well for itself in the runup to today's Tokachi 24-hour endurance race (which will be well underway b

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The Mainichi Daily News has a story in yesterday's edition that the hybrid Lexus GS450h sedan will be put through a bit of a test in Japan's only 24-hour race later this month. The race, the Tokachi 24-hour race on the northern island of Hokkaido, takes place from July 15-17 at the Tokachi International Speedway and this year marks the first time a major automaker is entering a gasoline-electric hybrid in the race. Toyota engineers will use race data to "make hybrid systems smaller, lighter and

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