The new GT-R has been the car to beat this season in Super GT, Japan’s premier tin top race series, but for Nissan, Sunday was a dream come true.
Toyota, Nissan and Honda are all involved in the crowd pleasing Super GT with its 40 car grids and great racing. But for Nissan the pressure to win has been especially intense.
This has been the GT-R’s debut season. GT-R is a living legend in Japan, so the stakes from day one have been sky high.
On paper, it might have looked like a cakewalk. GT-Rs won seven out of the nine races despite ongoing attempts by Super GT organisers to slow them down with ever more bizarre weight penalties. However, going into that last race, any one of five cars (two GT-Rs, one Honda, two Toyotas) could have won the championship. It really was that close.
In the end, the GT-R came through and reflecting both the joy and emotion of the moment, NISMO’s respected team director Yoshitaka Ijima admitted, with classical Japanese understatement, that winning the series was “a great relief.” You know just what he means.