Rd.5 Suzuka Circuit 17 - 18 Aug

GT-R aiming for successive victories by incorporating new engine

“The Suzuka 1000kms is a legendary midsummer endurance race. From 2009 to 2011 the race was trimmed first to 700kms and then to 500kms but last year, for the first time in 4 years, the race was brought back to its original distance of 1000kms. It was then that the #1 GT-R grabbed its first victory of the season and with that same energy went on to become champions for the second year in a row. Suzuka is one the best tracks for the GT-R and, with the possibility of acquiring bonus points during the 1000km race, we are hoping to create more inertia by getting good results.

“Today's Suzuka 1000kms, unlike traditional endurance races, is more like a relentless, continuous sprint race. On top of that, the race is held during the hottest time of the summer season. In that environment, our secret weapon to support the GT-R drivers is air conditioning. As it steadily delivers in performance, it allows our drivers to display more than enough of their abilities. Various makers provide tires made specifically for high temperatures, and we were able to evaluate these during the official test at Fuji in early August. We believe we are going to come into Suzuka with confidence. In addition, we're introducing a 2nd engine starting from Suzuka. This engine was reformed for the Suzuka and Fuji rounds in the summer. There aren't necessarily any huge improvements, just an increase of torque in the low- to mid-speed ranges. Its aim is to perform especially in the GT300 machine and to smoothly avoid us getting caught as a back marker.

“The #23 NISMO, just like last year, luckily grabbed the 3rd place spot at the recent SUGO round, and is heading to the Suzuka 1000kms in good spirits. Because of the wet track surface at SUGO, Yanagida was held back by his slick tires, but still raced on tenaciously. In the long competition at Suzuka, we expect him to run steadily all the way to the end and leave behind some excellent results. Sekiguchi, in the #1 MOLA GT-R, displayed significant growth by securing pole position. Surely he will show even more good form at Suzuka. TEAM IMPUL's #12 GT-R experienced some misfortune with the parts they used at SUGO breaking. But they are still in 3rd place in the series and their victories from 2006 and 2008 indicate that they tend to perform very well at Suzuka. The handicap weight on their car may be heavy, but we expect them to continue to rack up the points. As for KONDO RACING's #24 GT-R, there were a lot of expectations for them as they started doing well from the middle stage of the season, and especially when they took 5th at SUGO. It is a relief to know they have finally arrived. The morale of the crew has risen, and we think the current momentum is going to continue in the second half of the season. The tests at Fuji went well, so keep your eyes on the GT-Rs.

“In the GT300 class, Lucas Ordonez will be appointed as third driver in the #3 GT-R. As one part of the "Nismo Global Driver Exchange" program, active, young drivers from Europe are being used to race in Japan. As you all may know, Ordonez became a pro driver from the virtual world of video games. He has shown much improvement, gathering experience from wins at big races. Even during the tests he is recording times that are on par with the regular drivers. Definitely keep an eye out for him. Aside from that, these three vehicles, the #48 GT-R, the #30 GT-R, who showed incredible speed during the Fuji tests, and the latest entry to join the GT-R ranks, the #5 machine, which will be entered from Suzuka, will all appoint three drivers to compete in this midsummer challenge.

“There is one thing all fans planning to attend the race in person must check out. It is the debut and demo run of the new GT-Rs to be used from 2014. The vehicle bodies are still in their black, carbon state, but are set apart from the current GT500 cars with their bold styling. Get excited for the explosive exhaust sound from the turbo engines and their incredible speed.”