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Nissan GT-R GT1

Stephen Dobie
6 Apr 2009

Nismo develops 600bhp Nissan GT-R to race in the FIA GT1 championship


Nissan is a name we haven’t seen much of in motorsport recently, at least not in Europe. That is set to change after the unveiling of the Nismo GT-R GT1 car.

It will make its debut this season, racing in four rounds of the FIA GT Championship to test the car, further its development, and perhaps most key, advertise it to privateers who may want to run one next year.

A plan to shake up the GT1 rules for 2010 means that teams need to be independently run, although cars can be developed by manufacturers as well as private tuners.

Nismo, Nissan’s official motorsport arm, is responsible for this hard-as-nails GT-R that’s one of the halo cars launching FIA GT for 2009. While it won’t score championship points this year, it will no doubt be a big draw for the sport.

Sticking to the forthcoming GT1 regulations, it boasts 592bhp (or a slightly rounder 600hp) and weighs just 1250kg. That’s a half ton cut compared to a road-going GT-R, which was plenty of hard work for Nismo, according to president Yuichi Sanada (pictured in red, with car). The 5.6-litre V8 in the rear-driven GT1 car also boasts 480lb ft of torque, while outside there’s a wealth of aerodynamic modifications. A ballsy road-going version in the offing, then? ‘For the time being, no’ said Sanada. ‘We would love to do it though’.

The plans to evolve the GT Championship next year centre around separating it out into GT3, GT2 and GT1 classes, the latter being a ‘world project’, a championship which is intended to reach out into 12 countries and five continents. While organisers appreciate the world’s finances aren’t in tip-top shape, they see current money woes as the perfect time to launch a new championship – ‘With every big crisis, comes an opportunity’ they say. It may sound brave, but it’s backed up by pledges of direct financial support for all teams as well as free freight of cars to all races. When those are as far-flung as Russia, Argentina and Australia, that’s a good thing.

The cars in question are set to range from ‘largely produced coupes’ – think BMW 6-series, Nissan GT-R, Jaguar XK – to ‘high performance GTs’ – Ferrari Scuderia, Maserati MC12, Ford GT. The hope is that competition between the two genres will be squarer, leading to a more varied grid and extra excitement in races.

And the icing on the cake? Word that Lamborghini’s planning a GT1 car based on the Murcielago LP670-4 SV

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