Nissan begins a major motorsport update; it intends to compete in numerous events with both current and new cars
28 February 2013

Nissan's in-house performance brand, Nismo, will lead Nissan's newly expanded motorsport program.

Carlos Ghosn, boss of Nissan, announced that Nissan intends to return to the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2014, Australia's V8 Supercar series and to increase the competitiveness of the GT-R in the GT3 and Super GT Series. 

Nissan also continues to grow the GT Academy series, with the latest graduates set to compete in a GT-R in the FIA GT Series and the Blanpain Endurance series.

The attack on the Super GT Series GT500 class will be led by four special Nissan GT-Rs. Called GT500 GT-Rs, they use 3.4-litre V8 engines and have received various modifications, including rear aerodynamic upgrades.

Nissan said: “Specifically, we were able to maintain extreme levels of downforce while drastically cutting down drag via the distinctive 'shark teeth' rear design and by modifying the underbody.”

The 3.4-litre V8 engine will continue to be used. Nissan plans to maximise the engine's output and its flexibility by modifying its characteristics to match the layouts of different racetracks. Fuel efficiency will also be addressed by decreasing friction within the moving components of the drivetrain.

Kunihiko Kakimoto will continue as the Executive Team Director of the teams driving GT500 GT-Rs.

Nissan has also revealed its intent to race for the first time in Australia since the 1992 Touring Car Championship. The Japanese maker saw various victories previously, which it hopes to repeat.

Four of its new Altima V8 Supercars will lead the factory team for 2013, two of which will be driven by James Moffat and Michael Caruso, while the other two Altimas will be driven by brothers Todd and Rick Kelly.

The team are currently preparing for the opening race of the 2013 V8 Supercars Championship, which will be at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide Parklands in March.

Darren Cox, who is Nissan's Director for Global Motorsports and the global lead for the company's racing programs said: "Nissan sees Motorsport as a key element in building our brand globally."

"Our focus is providing motorsport fans access to our innovative and exciting programs from around the world; from V8 Supercars to Super GT in Japan and the global sensation that is GT Academy. These will be complemented by surprises on and off track as we explore more innovative approaches to motorsport."

Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn recently opened a brand new Nismo facility, and the manufacturer has also announced its intent to return to Le Mans with a pioneering all-electric race car. Nismo also plans to build an "ultimate" version of the GT-R, the GT-R Nismo.

Aidan Rennie-Jones

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