Enter the GT3 version. Jointly developed by Nismo (Nissan's racing division) and the JR Motorsports team that fields it in the Blancpain Endurance Series, the GT-R GT3 is much closer to the road car, powered as it is by the same turbocharged V6 engine (albeit tuned to GT3 specifications). The racer made its debut at the Magny-Cours circuit in France this weekend where it finished eighth out of 35 entries after 98 laps. That's an impressive debut for a new endurance racer, and you can read more about it in the press release after the jump.
Blancpain Endurance Series - Round 4 Race Report
JR Motorsports entered Nissan NISMO GT-R GT3, jointly developed by NISMO and JRM , proved 100% reliable in its first ever competitive outing. The fourth round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at the Magny-Cours circuit in central France saw the car run faultlessly throughout the 98 laps of the race in three hours, with its drivers Richard Westbrook and David Brabham crossing the line in an impressive eighth place overall out of a field of 35 cars, both paying tribute to the car's reliability and how easy it is to drive.
The Nissan NISMO GT-R GT3 concept started life over a year ago. Since then the car has undergone a series of tests, with the three-hour Magny-Cours race representing its first ever competitive outing and an important part of its extensive development programme.
Qualifying at Magny-Cours took place on Saturday afternoon in dry and sunny conditions, with Westbrook setting a time that placed the Nissan 18th on the grid. With 35 cars competing and the GT3 GT-R situated in the middle of the pack, the strategy was to keep out of trouble and that's exactly what Westbrook did.
With no work other than the obligatory refuelling, tyre-change and driver swap required, Brabham took the wheel and joined the race in 12th place. He continued to circulate the 4.41 km track making good progress and gaining places in the process.
Again, with no problems to report, he pulled into the pits at the end of lap 73 having climbed to ninth place. Westbrook then took over for the third and final stint and, he was able to make the most of the cooler conditions and set the GT-R GT3's fastest lap towards the end of the race.
With 20 minutes to go the Safety Car was deployed once again. This moved Westbrook into eighth place.
The JRM team was delighted when the car finally crossed the line having run faultlessly for 98 laps, three hours and 440kms. The race had provided everything the team had hoped for - and more - the final position of eighth overall and sixth in class a bonus for everyone concerned with the Nissan NISMO GT-R GT3 project.
"The car ran like clockwork. I had to keep reminding myself that this was its first race! It's excellent on tyres, so it means you can lap at the same speed at the end of a stint as you can at the start. For a brand new car to run the whole of the three-hours without a problem is a great achievement. It's easy but rewarding to drive and I must admit that, even after completing two one-hour stints, I didn't want to get out of it."
"Once I was out of the traffic I was able to put in some really solid laps. The car is easy to drive which means it doesn't take long to dial yourself into a good rhythm. To finish where we did is a great debut for a brand new car and a tribute to Nissan, NISMO and JRM."