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Nismo Festival 2009: Nismo Festival Walkthrough Part 3

December 11th, 2009

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Thanks to you guys who have been following this series of articles. We’re going to wrap it up today with a look at some of the celebration side of Nismo Festival. As you may know, Nismo Festival sits right at the far end of the SuperGT season and is a celebration of the season past.

So one of the final events is the fan thankyou and closing ceremony where everyone associated with SuperGT, and now, FIA GT racing for Nismo will get out on the circuit to hear the roar of the fans and give thanks for their support. The drivers themselves will first roll up in their respective rides. Burnouts optional…

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Once assembled the fans will salute them, chanting Nissan and waving giant banners adorned with Nissan, GT-R and team emblems. Following this, we hear from team bosses of each SuperGT team as well as the Nismo SuperGT and FIA GT team managers.

At the end of the festivities, each of the SuperGT drivers gets to throw some small gifts into the crowd to again show thanks and wrap up the Festival.

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And on that note I want to wrap up the Nismo Festival 2009 coverage from GTRBlog too. It was a great festival this year with a couple of sneak peaks scooped and a lot of friends caught up with. Looking forward to the next big show now which is litterally right around the corner. January 15th – 17th at Makuhari Messe – you got it – it’s Tokyo AutoSalon 2010.

For now, though, I’ll leave you with the remainder of the eye candy from the closing of Nismo Festival 2009!

Images: Copyright (C) 2009 GTRBlog.com

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Nismo Festival 2009: Nismo Super Taikyu Nissan GT-R – Part 2

December 10th, 2009

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Time to get to the real meat of the latest race spec Nissan GT-R to be spied out of Nismo’s workshop. We got our first look on Saturday and fortunately, GTR-World were quick enough with their camera to snap a whole load of pics.

In this final installment of the photo posts, we get under the hood and inside what we presume is the upcoming ST1 specification Nissan GT-R for Super Taikyu competition next year.

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Firstly lets check out the tyres on this beast, we can quickly see that these are no street tire and a full slick is fitted. It’s actually a prototype Yokohama Advan A005 265 wide (front) tyre in 20 inch size. Yokohama’s largest commonly available size for this tire is 18 inches so one wonders if this tire will be sold through dealers in the future or restricted to use by Nismo.

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Next let’s check out the interior. While much is stripped out and a serious roll cage bolted in, several standard road car items can be spied. A Sparco racing wheel replaces the standard wheel but much of the dashboard, cluster, stalks and paddles remain stock. Carbon blanking panels replace the vents and stereo and climate controls are of course completely replaced with functional carbon panels to bolt more robust controls into. A Recaro Pro Racer SPA HANS carbon kevlar seat with Willans harness keeps the driver in place.

The MFD and navigation control surround piece is also replaced with proper carbon fibre. At first thought I guessed this was from the SpecV model but in comparison you can tell they’re nothing alike. The SpecV carbon MFD surround panel was too heavy for the race car? Or is this a preview of parts that may make it into future road car versions?

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Under the hood we’re greeted with a pretty ordinary looking VR38DETT engine. A few obvious updates include:

  • Custom catch can
  • Blanking plates where blow off valves were
  • Removal of emissions / evap control systems
  • Billstein fully adjustable suspension (Thanks Martin)
  • Custom radiator overflow tank
  • Custom power steering fluid sock
  • Custom brake fluid resevoir sock
  • MOTUL engine oil replaces Mobil 1
  • Lightweight battery with emergency cutout
  • Upgraded fittings

There’s also a hidden power steering cooler in front of the radiator and a lack of aircon.

That’s pretty much it from me on the subject, I’ve strained my eyes enough for one day. Feel free to post in the comments if you spot anything I missed first time round. Enjoy the rest of the photos!

Images: Copyright GTR-World.net (C) 2009

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Nismo Festival 2009: Nismo Festival Walkthrough Part 2

December 8th, 2009

FIA GT1 GT-R in the Pits at Nismo Festival 2009

Following on from our first part of this article on a walkthrough of Nismo Festival 2009, we continue our story.

By this stage of the day you would have either tired yourself out from shopping or done the alternative. That is to say, if you didn’t come to Nismo Festival to shop then maybe you’ve been lining up for some of the special event tickets available on the day. These include things like; Circuit Safari bus tours on the race track with SuperGT cars whizzing by and Passenger car ride-alongs on the track.

370z Passenger Ride along at Nismo Festival

One of the cheaper and more available of the special tickets is the Grid Walk ticket in which you get to step foot on Fuji Speedway’s circuit to get up close with the cars and drivers. Take your posters, hats or postcards out with you and have them signed by Satoshi Motoyama and get a photo with a super popular race queen. All for just 1,500 yen and they sell a couple of hundred of them versus the 40 or so for other ticket types.

Grid Walk at Nismo Festival 2009

Once your sorted for tickets its time to check out the Japanese muscle on display down in the pit area. There’s so much racing history jammed into these garages from 2009 model SuperGT GT500 GT-Rs to KPGC10’s from the 70’s. These cars aren’t just static displays either. Chances are you’ll catch them warming up for one of the many circuit events where anything from the Group-A R32 GT-Rs to the latest GT500 R35s will be out on the circuit. This usually involves loud revving while up on their air jacks.

Pennzoil R34 GT-R Warming Up In Pits

Checking the Oil on a GT500 GT-R at Nismo Festival

After you’ve gone through the pits thoroughly is probably about time to sit down and enjoy some motor sports. Some of the races from Nismo Festival 2009 were the All time Dream Battle featuring GT500 GT-Rs from various generations versus GT500 Fairlady Zs from 2007 and earlier.

We’ll featuring some of the circuit photos in the next update. For now sit back and have a click through some photos I took of the pits and special ticket events.

Images: Copyright (C) 2009 GTRBlog.com

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Nismo Festival 2009: Super Taikyu Spec Nissan GT-R – More Details Part 1

December 7th, 2009

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Well firstly, sorry to those who got their hopes up that Nismo would unveil this car at Nismo Festival. Evidently it was spied on it’s way out of Fuji not to return until the next private testing session. That is to say, it was completely absent for Sunday the 6th of December which was Festival day.

Doesn’t really matter though because we still have photos enough to make a few good guesses about the upcoming Nismo racer. We’d also like to replay a bunch of photos from our last up close and personal article about the Tokachi 24hrs R35 GT-R for comparison.

First up its obvious that the hood scoop is a new addition, but the the entire hood base was carbon for Tokachi and it seems that there is no variation here on that point.

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As for the front end in general, while at first glance it is the same as the Tokachi 24hrs car, if you look closer at the finish and materials used back then, we’ve actually got a completely new generation of bumper. Fully carbon now, each duct seems more fully integrated than before. The front lip spoiler is also revamped into a full carbon version versus the ABS plastic with carbon ducts of the Tokachi car.

The location of the air-jack line input has also shifted sides and become a proper fixture versus the rudimentry previous version.

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Around back and its again easy to spot the differences. Theres a entirely new rear bumper in full dry carbon with a rear underspoiler in carbon to match. The previously gorgeous SpecV exhaust has been reduced to meer straight outlets via the path of least resistance.

A rear diff cooler can be seen hiding behind that rear grill also, and not surprising really. It shares this with the Tokachi car but there are some other differences here. The fuel filler for one, it moves from the rear trunk lid to the rear quarter panel window and that itself is replaced by a lightweight lexen window.

Have a browse through the photos to compare, point out anything you spot different. Coming up in part 2 will be some engine bay shots or maybe the interior. We’ll see what kind of mood we’re in at the time.

Source: All Nissan GT-R Super Taikyu R35 GT-R Photos (C) GTR-World.net 2009
Images: All Nissan GT-R Tokachi 24hrs GT-R Photos (C) GTRBlog.com 2008 – 2009

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Nismo Festival 2009: Nismo Festival Walkthrough Part 1

December 6th, 2009

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We did a fairly detailed post from Nismo Festival 2008 where we photographed and showed our readers the specifics of some of the most tangible aspects of Nismo Festival so I feel that’s pretty well covered. Photos of stationary GT-Rs are always good but it’s good to get some other stuff in there too.

I’m going to be writing up a few part post on a day at Nismo Festival that pretty much follows me around and what I think the average enthusiast might also be interested in if they were to attend.

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In this part we’ll take a look at the Nismo Garage Sale, the souvineer shopping and the carpark. Believe it or not, shopping is very much the first thing “done” at Nismo Festival. There’s always discounts and special pricing on whatever you might be after. Some manufacturers, and Nismo themselves, will also sell specific souvineer edition swag that you really have to be EARLY to get.

Speaking of getting in EARLY, the most hardcore of these shopping destinations at Nismo Festival is the garage sale. Think of it as a way for Nismo to clear out their warehouse of broken or obsolete SuperGT parts while releaving you of some money in the process. This starts getting a line at about, ooh, I dunno, last week! It opens at 7am to only a handful of people at a time who are unleashed on assorted carbon fibre and forged magnesium parts to hang on their wall.

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Once your extremely limited SuperGT souvineer is safely spoken for, it’s time to pickup that merchandise you’ve been meaning to get. Or just to check out the huge range of ways nismo can print Nismo on a garment of some description (a lot).

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By now your wallet is probably hurting pretty bad. This stuff doesn’t come cheap after all. Time to check out something that doesn’t cost, i.e. check out the carpark. What?

Each year, various Nismo built car owners are invited to park their Nismo built vehicle in the parking area closest to the event area. You see some wild and almost mythically rare cars.

Today we got to check out several Nismo 400R R33 GT-Rs and several Nismo 270R S14s which are as rare as it gets. At a guess I’d also say that every person alive bought their 380RS package or Nismo S-Tune GT 350z.

So overall the first hour or so of the event is usually safely set aside for a few big items you may need to shop for, especially limited items that sell out super fast.

Since I’m about to crash and burn from fatigue after just arriving back in Tokyo from Fuji, I think I’ll stop it here by saying what I always say: Stay tuned for more soon and check out the photos for now!

Images: Copyright (C) GTRBlog.com

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Nismo Festival 2009: Nismo Super Taikyu Spec GT-R Spied – SCOOP Photos!

December 5th, 2009

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Previously just a rumor, today we saw the proof that Nissan is developing a Super Taikyu specification R35. Based on a standard MY2010 GT-R and utilising many of the components originally developed on Tokachi 24hrs competing R35 GT-R (i.e. tjhe SpecV prototypes), this new spec GT-R kind of caught us by surprise. The good news first, yes it IS VR38DETT powered and AWD and utilising the GR6 transmission! Finally a true GT-R race car? (Sean will be pleased…)

It was in the pits for mere moments before being locked away in a truck so we’re using our friend from GTR-World.net‘s photos. These are the only ones known to exist right now.

Hopefully Nismo doesn’t keep all their toys locked away for the entire weekend and we see this thing in action tomorrow.

If not, don’t fret, we have loads more photos we’re holding back until we get a green light…

Source: GTR-World.net – Scoop Nismo Festival 2009 Photos

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Nismo Festival 2009: FIA GT GT1 Specification Nissan GT-R Up Close and Personal

December 4th, 2009

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Nismo Festival is here again and although it officially doesn’t start until tomorrow, we’ve been able to, with thanks to help from Nismo get some unprecidented access to get under the skin of the 2010 GT1 specification Nissan GT-R.

A total of three GT1 spec GT-Rs are at Fuji Speedway less than 100 meters from me as I type this from the media center. I was up at 5:30am this morning to get this chance to get some interesting shots of the car without any members of the general public around. So I hope you enjoy these.

There’s 62 photos in total I’ve selected for this article so go ahead and click the read more link below to browse. I’m sure you can keep yourself busy for quite a while picking up on the finer details.

I’ll be making a post shortly on interesting points I noticed myself…

Link: Nismo FIA GT1 @ Nismo Festival 2009 – Photo Gallerty

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Nismo Festival 2009: Ticket Sales Info

September 12th, 2009

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I’ve had a couple of emails now about readers who intend to get over to Japan this December for Nismo Festival for the first time but aren’t 100% on how ticket sales are done. Nismo have kindly just announced pricing so it might be timely to get the word out about getting tickets to the event.

Firstly, Nismo Festival is just the one day, Sunday 6th of December this year and is always held at Fuji Speedway. Fuji Speedway is a couple of hours outside Tokyo and has relatively easy to use public transport links to and from major centers.

Tickets for entry to the Festival itself are an easy one. You can either pick them up in advance (online ticket sales via PIA start November 1st) for 1,500 yen or buy them at the door for 2,000 yen. As for any event you’d be crazy not to get them in advance if you can at all manage it.

Next come ticket sales for special attractions like the Grid Walk, Circuit Safari, Circuit Taxi, and Race Car Passenger Rides. These require more planning to get because they’re not available in advance, in high demand on the day, limited in numbers and require some kind of lining up or even waiver form signup.

  • Grid Walk – Get on the race track grid among the SuperGT cars, drivers, race queens and race fans. An all out crazy hour of pushing for autographs. Tickets 1,500 yen per person.
  • Circuit Safari – Get in a coach for a lap around Fuji Speedway while SuperGT cars are warming up / practicing. Tickets 2,000 yen per person.
  • Circuit Taxi – Similar to Circuit Safari in a passenger car. Tickets 3,000 yen per person.
  • Race Car Passenger Ride – You guessed it! Tickets 4,000 yen per person.

Don’t let that put you off getting these though you just need to plan ahead. Here are a few tips on making this happen.

  1. Arrive at Fuji Speedway early! Can’t stress this one enough, get there well early you’ll want to be up front of that line to get in when the gates open at 8am
  2. Decide your game plan, do you want to take home SuperGT souvenirs or do you want to get onto the grid to meet the drivers?
  3. Be familiar with the lay of the land and run to the right line. This is the hardest one for people who have never been to Fuji Speedway or have no Japanese language skills. Study maps on Fuji Speedway’s website and the Nismo Festival map that will hopefully be out soon.
  4. If you have a few people with you, make sure your allocating your resources best, it only takes 1 person to save your place in the Garage Sale line while another organizes Grid Walk tickets.
  5. There are age and other official limitations for the ride along attractions, you need to be 30+ with a current drivers license. I assume they mean Japanese drivers license but possibly not.
  6. So that’s it for this installment of our Nismo Festival how-to articles. Next up might be one on getting to the venue, and as important, getting away!

    Link: Nismo Festival Website Launched

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Nismo Festival 2009: Dates Officially Announced

August 1st, 2009

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Nismo Festival is an amazing event held each year at Fuji Speedway, a few hours outside Tokyo in Japan. A celebration of all things Nissan Motorsports related, from historic racing cars to the latest and greatest specification GT racing cars. This is the 13th year of the Festival and promises to be a good one, perhaps the best yet.

In a press release this week, Nismo have officially penned the date to be Sunday, the 6th of December 2009. This year Nismo continue on from last year’s celebration of the Nissan GT-R with the second “Challenge R” theme festival. We expect to see the entire lineup of SuperGT GT500 GT-Rs, Nismo FIA GT1 2010 GT-R, the Tokachi 24hrs prepared Nissan GT-R, even the GT-R SpecV on the circuit and on display.

Of course each year also brings the Nismo Garage Sale which, if you plan to try get something, remember to plan ahead!

Attending Nismo Festival 2008 was an amazing experience. I made the trip to Japan specifically for Nismo Festival and was not disappointed. Highly recommended especially if you’ll be there for some other purpose already. While you’re there you can visit Mt. Fuji (probably can’t climb it at that time of year though) and the surrounding areas which themselves make for a great holiday.

Tickets will be available soon, we’ll update you when they are. For now you can browse my photo galleries from Nismo Festival 2008 at this link.

Link: Nismo Website

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Nismo Festival: The Souvenirs

December 8th, 2008

One of the most popular and fun parts of Nismo Festival is all the limited edition and interesting souvenirs you can pickup. And no … I don’t mean the race queens… Sheesh.

You gotta see the mad rush for this stuff at gate open time. I was a bit late showing up I admit, 8am Sunday morning exactly was when I arrived. Just as we got inside and were parking the car the gates opened and the mass of humanity flooded out of the gates. People had been waiting god knows how many hours to get a good place up front.

Once inside there’s a good reason for the rush, the line for the best items fills up quickly. Nismo Festival merchandise was popular but the most popular place was the Nismo Garage Sale Corner. Here they sell used and/or no longer serviceable parts off the past and even current SuperGT race cars. Everything from carbon hoods, carbon fenders, to entire carbon front ends.

Nismo only permit 8-10 people to browse the stuff at a time and if you’re in you feel free to take as long as you like checking out all the items. By the time I turned up I estimate the wait as long as 3 hours to get in to the stall. Being press has it’s advantages however so I was able to photograph all the items.

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