January 17, 2014
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The Nissan GT-R will return to race at Bathurst, Australia next month with a strong squad of Nismo Global Exchange drivers, namely Rick Kelly, Wolfgang Reip, Katsumasa Chiyo and Alex Buncombe. Competing under the ‘Nismo Athlete Global Team’ banner, the quartet will be part of history as the GT-R returns to Mount Panorama - 22 years after its last race at the famous circuit.
As previously announced, Australian Nissan V8 Supercars driver Rick Kelly will be the entry's local representative. Kelly needs no introduction on Australian shores, having been one of the leading V8 Supercars drivers over the past decade. He is a former V8 Supercars Champion and winner of the Bathurst 1000 in 2003 and 2004.
Wolfgang Reip won GT Academy Europe in 2012, beating 830,000 gamers to the top prize. He is well-accustomed to racing the GT-R after taking podium finishes in the Blancpain Endurance and FIA GT Series in 2013, his first season of racing.
Katsumasa Chiyo is a young driver from Nissan's driver development program in Japan. His career has followed the traditional route of karting and single-seaters - where he was Japanese F3 Champion (N Class) in 2011. He now competes in SUPER GT for Nissan.
Alex Buncombe has been an integral part of GT Academy since the program was launched in 2008. He plays a vital role as team-mate to the recent graduates.
“We have wanted to return to Bathurst with a factory Nissan GT-R for a long time,” said Nissan's Director of Global Motorsport, Darren Cox. “It's great that we can field a team that shows the international nature of our driving talent and once again promote a Nismo version of the Nissan GT-R. The Nismo Global Driver Exchange continues to provide priceless opportunities to our global drivers. They are competing with history at Bathurst. Last time we were there with ‘Godzilla’ Jim Richards and Mark Skaife scored back-to-back Bathurst 1000 wins in 1991 and 1992.”
The 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour will be held on February 7-9.