Rd.1 Okayama International Circuit 31 Mar - 1 Apr
“This year, in order to set it apart from the GT300 cars that comply with the FIA GT3 rules, the size of the restrictor, the component that sends air into the engine, has been increased two sizes, increasing the maximum power. This makes it necessary to make sure that power is available at low to medium speeds. Special torque characteristics are also needed to enable the cars to run at high speeds. In preparation for the start of the season, the engine developers have been working hard with those points in mind.
“From the aerodynamic viewpoint also, new front and rear fenders have been developed under a theme of "low drag, high performance". Also, the lightening of parts has been improved further in comparison to last year, resulting in a lower centre of gravity. The effort put into these types of small areas of focus has combined to achieve the high speeds being demonstrated by the GT-Rs.
“The opening race in Okayama will be a good round to accurately predict the strength of the various cars in this year's competition. An important factor is tyres. The races last year were 250km, but that has been returned to 300km this year. Also, with the increase in engine output, fuel usage will also rise. In addition, the extra 50km in each race distance means more fuel being used. Up until now it was a common strategy to start with soft tyres, take an early pit stop and hold the lead through the long second half of the race, but this year this strategy won't be available, as the fuel won't be able to hold up through the longer second half. Therefore, tyre choice prior to each race is expected to be a major factor. The NISSAN cars have tyres from all three major manufacturers: Bridgestone, Yokohama, and Michelin, and each has their own strengths. I believe it is another strength of NISSAN's that we have all three of these tyres on our cars, and ensures there are no missing links.
“We won't be feeling too proud of ourselves, and will waste no effort in our aim to win the championship this year - something we hope to achieve through hard work. I ask for and appreciate your support.
“NISSAN has entered a new car in the GT300 class this year. It is the GT3-spec GT-R, compliant with the world standard FIA GT3 rules. We had an extremely tough time during development, but ended up with a car that exceeds our expectations for durability and speed. I would greatly appreciate it if you could please focus your attention on this car.”