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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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SuperGT 2009: Nissan GT-R Pole to Win in Round 3 at Fuji Speedway

May 4th, 2009

supergt-round03-2009-100

Team Nismo MOTUL Autech have made it another pole-to-win victory in round 3 of the SuperGT 2009 championship at Fuji Speedway. It was a very tight finish just 0.219 seconds in front of the #36 Petronas TOM’s SC430 Toyota in second place. The #8 ARTA NSX was 3rd followed by the #24 HIS ADVAN KONDO Racing Nissan GT-R in 4th place.

Further back in the field was the HASEMI TOMICA EBBRO GT-R in 7th place with the #12 IMPUL Calsonic Nissan GT-R in last place after suffering a incident on the first corner when it lost rear traction and speared off the track, impacting an NSX on the way. Race tape fixes all and it was back on the track after a long pit stop though with minimal front downforce though. See the video below for a replay.

The points earned this round keep Kondo Racing on the top of the team championship rankings with 40 championship points, a lead of 3 points of Petronas TOM’s Racing. Nismo moves to 6th spot with 27 points followed by Team Impul in 7th place with 26 points. Still early days in the championships and it’s pretty much still anyone’s at this stage.

High res photos and full race report to come shortly from Nissan Motorsports as well as full race coverage on GTRBlogTV just as soon as we can process it.

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SARD Release GT-Wing Range for Nissan R35 GT-R

April 5th, 2009

SARD GT-Wing FUJI SpecM for Nissan GT-R

Japanese motorsports part manufacturer SARD has updated their aero parts lineup to include two new GT-Wings suitable for the Nissan GT-R. The GT-Wing Fuji Spec M and the GT-Wing Pro have both been released for the GT-R owner interested in upgrading the on-track performance of their base GT-R.

Both of these wings are a 1,710mm wide, carbon fibre units with 5 steps of adjustability. The Fuji Spec M item (pictured here) offers a low drag high downforce design in a standard shaped wing while the Pro version has the lifted center to offer maximum rear downforce. As an option carbon kevlar and carbon twill weave wing elements are available over the standard carbon item.

Pricing ranges from 192,150 yen for the carbon GT-Wing Fuji SpecM (part code 61810C(B)) up to 210,000 yen for the carbon kevlar GT-Wing Pro (part code 61700K(B)).

Link: SARD GT-Wings Website
Link: SARD 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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Nismo Festival 2008: Race Queens of Nismo Festival

December 7th, 2008

Everyone loves race queens, especially the Japanese. I shot a few of these girls before the public was allowed to get their mits on them. After the public was allowed on track it was physically impossible to access some of them due to the mobbing crowds 15 or so deep.

These girls are just as big to the fans as the race drivers are. It’s great what holding an umbrella can do for your career.

The rest of the photos are after the jump…

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Nismo Festival 2008: GT-R Special Battle

December 3rd, 2008

One of the biggest highlights of the Nismo Festival for GT-R fans was the GT-R Special Lap battle. This was a 10 lap race between Nissan GT-R race cars from four generations racing together in one race. Quite an amazing site to see the combined history of JGTC/SuperGT racing together on the track going all out at the same time.

The entrants in the GT-R Special Battle were:

  • R32 Group-A Race Cars: STP Taisan #2, Calsonic #12 and the #1 Unisa Jecs GT-Rs
  • R33 GT-R GT500 JGTC Race Car: Pennzoil Nismo #23 GT500 GT-R
  • R34 GT-R GT500 JGTC Race Cars: Pennzoil Nismo #23, Xanavi Nismo #22, Xanavi Nismo #23 and Motul Autech #22 GT500 GT-Rs
  • R35 GT-R GT500 SuperGT Race Cars: #1 Xanavi Nismo, #22 Motul Autech, #3 YMS, #12 Calsonic, #24 Woodone Advan R35 GT500 GT-Rs

Before the race a ceremony was held to officially crown the championship GT-R with it’s prize, the right to wear the #1. The championship of the 2008 SuperGT series, the #23 Xanavi Nismo R35 GT-R was parked on the red carpet and drivers Satoshi Motoyama and Beno�t Tr�luyer were given a warm welcome by the crowd as well as Nissan CEO, Carlos Ghosn.

Mr Ghosn then gave a speech in Japanese to the Nismo Festival attendees and greeted all the other SuperGT drivers as well before departing. I was really surprised to see Carlos at Nismo Festival and think it’s a great thing he came.

The GT-R Special Battle race was then held after a short Z33 race event. The battle itself was great. The R35’s dominated in terms of speed as you’d expect but the Xanavi Nismo #23 R34 GT-R showed real commitment and kept up with them lap after lap falling behind only after half the race was over. Another surprise was that the R33 GT500 car was able to mix it with the R34’s easily keeping pace.

The Group-A R32’s had raw horsepower and the AWD advantage but when it comes to the corners, with no aero really to speak of they lacked the grip to make a difference and quickly fell back while the superior GT500 cars with their slick bodies and giant aero surfaces. The competition between the R32’s was fierce however and many times were braking too late for the 11th corner chicane going straight through it instead.

Overall I think it was amazing they got these cars out of their storage warehouse and got them back on the circuit where they belong for this. Kudos to Nismo for pulling off a very exciting race event here.

Click through the pages below to see the full photo gallery of the race including some of the pre-race ceremony and Carlos Ghosn’s visit…

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Nismo Festival 2008: GT-Rs of Nismo Festival

December 2nd, 2008

Nismo Festival photo galleries ahoy! The first thing I have to say about Nismo Festival is that it’s a huge event staged over an even larger geographical area. My job there was to experience it and photograph it so I could give a report to my readers. I will be writing this but for now I have time to make these photo galleries available right now.

This first one from Sunday’s festival is a wrap up of as many GT-Rs as we could find at the festival that were standing still at the time. There were more I know of but did not capture every single one.

This unfortunately does not include the car park which contained many many more that we didn’t get time to photograph. I saw a amazingly clean Midnight Purple R33 400R GT-R in the car park and kicked myself for not having my camera on me at that time, such is life. If you’re out there 400R owner, send me your photos!

Anything that was moving or on the racetrack makes it into another photo gallery to be posted in the coming few posts.

Click through the pages below to read more, see the rest of the many images in this gallery and get some background on the cars you will see in the posts to come…

Photos: Those watermarked with GTRBlog.com logo are copyright GTRBlog.com
Photos: Those without GTRBlog.com watermark are owned by GTR-World.net and are reproduced here with permission

Hakosuka KPGC10 Skyline GT-Rs

Introduced in 1972 the coupe version of the outstandingly successful PGC10 four door Skyline 2000 GT-R. Together they’d won 1000 racing victories from 1969 until it was discontinued in 1974 to be replaced with the KPGC110.

Nismo Street Cars: Z-Tune and 400R

Some of the toughest street cars to ever make their way out of Nismo’s Omori Factory onto the streets of Japan.

Interesting trivia, the chief engineer of the Nismo 400R was Takeuchi-san. The very same man who took the above Hakosuka GT-R photos.

1995 Nissan R33 Skyline GT-R LM

Built for the 24hrs of LeMans and raced in 1995 and 1996 finishing 15th outright and 10th in class in 1996. This GT-R was eventually retired to be replaced by the Nissan R390. A completely different animal and also found at Nismo Festival. Didn’t see this beast on the track though, would have been good to see how it did against the R390 and GT500 cars.

Photos: GTRBlog and GTR-World.net.

Group-A Nissan Skyline R32 GT-Rs

The very reason the R32 and the legacy of AWD Nissan Skyline GT-R exists at all is these very cars. Nissan wanted to retire the rear wheel drive R31 GTS-R Group A Skylines and had chosen the HCR32 chassis to build on. Per the rules it was required to build and homologate the road going R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R to do it.

These guys were amazing in their day, winning at home and abroad in Group-A competitions such as the Bathurst 1000 in Australia.

These car also joined the GT-R Super Lap battle against racing GT-Rs from more modern eras on Sunday, we’ll have the report on how that did a bit later. Was really awesome to see them racing against the R35 GT500 cars.

1998 Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R GT500 Race Car

This Pennzoil Nismo Nissan Skyline GT-R GT500 car was driven by �rik Comas and Masami Kageyama to victory in the 1998 JGTC Championship. It was retired that year and replaced with the 1999 R34 GT500 car.

Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R GT500 Race Cars

R34 GT-R GT500 had a long career racing in the SuperGT series from 1999 to 2003. The R34 GT-R managed wins in it’s first (1999) and final (2003) series championships and both of these championship winning cars were there on Sunday.

The Pennzoil R34 GT-R GT500 car was driven by �rik Comas in his back to back championship victory in 1999 after winning in 1998 driving an R33 also.

The XANAVI Nismo R34 GT-R GT500 car was driven by, current 2008 SuperGT champion, Satoshi Motoyama in 2003 to victory with Michael Krumm co-driving. Michael now drives the #22 SuperGT car for MOTUL Autech Nismo team.

Official Fuji Speedway Pace Car

Like Sendai Highland Raceway, Fuji Speedway also uses an R35 GT-R as it’s official pace car. This was often seen out on the track over the course of the day.

SuperGT 2008 Nissan R35 GT-R GT500 Cars

In 2008 the Nissan GT-R makes a comeback to SuperGT GT500 class racing again with the R35 GT-R GT500 cars. Making a historic pole to win plus second place victory in the first race for both the Nismo team cars the comeback was truly great for the Japanese motorsport fans. R35 GT500 GT-R’s went on to win the majority of the season’s races despite heavy weight penalties being applied.

Of course the GT-R of the 2008 season champions, the #23 Xanavi Nismo GT-R driven by Satoshi Motoyama was there on Sunday proudly displaying their victory trophies. As well the other 2008 SuperGT GT500 cars were also in attendance.

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Nismo Festival 2008: Saturday Sneak Peak

November 30th, 2008

We’ve been a bit quiet on GTRBlog over the past 48hrs. It’s been a big few days attending the preparation for Nismo Festival. Some connection troubles to the internet from Fuji Speedway’s press room also has caused some delay. Thanks to the help of the guys from GTR-World.net we finally got it sorted.

Nismo Festival is on Today – right now in fact, I’m just taking a quick break from the madness before it really gets started to update you guys from yesterday.

Saturday was, as we said, preparation day and this gave the SuperGT teams time to setup the cars for Fuji Speedway. Nismo were getting in early and had the track for the morning running their #23 and #22 GT500 GT-Rs. I took a stroll around Fuji Speedway to snap a few shots.

Today is the real festival though and we were there at 8am when the gates opened and a torrent of Japanese enthusiasts poured out to snatch up the limited edition Nismo Festival memorabilia.

More on the festival as the day goes on or perhaps tonight when I can reach a stable net connection. When that happens I can get the high-res photos out as well. Until now enjoy photos from Saturday.

Update: Hi-Res version of the photos uploaded now, clicking the thumbnail in this post will now take you to the high resolution version.

Click read more to view the first lot of the photos…

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Nismo Festival 2008: One Week To Go

November 23rd, 2008

Just one week to go until the biggest Nismo event outside the SuperGT race season hits Japan and we’re pumped for it. This year GTRBlog is taking you all along with us with some exclusive access to all the cars and news direct from Fuji Speedway. Nismo Festival is on next Sunday, the 30th of November.

Nismo Festival is broken down into three separate areas on the day with multiple events on simultaneously. There’s little chance to rest for the real enthusiasts. The three areas are Race Area, Paddock Area and the Stand Area. Each area has it’s own schedule so here’s a rundown what we’ll see on the day.

Race Area

  1. Historic car race – The KPGC10 Prince Skyline GT-R achieved 52 wins in it’s racing history, see it against Nissan 240Z and the TS Sunny on the circuit.
  2. Nissan MARCH Cup Exhibition race with special guest drivers
  3. Celebration of the 50th anniversary of international motor racing for Nissan. The first event being the Mobilgas Trial in Australia in 1958 where the #19 Datsun 210 “Fuji-Go” won in class A.
  4. Le Mans race simulation – The lessons learnt at Le Mans with cars such as the Nissan R390 GT1 contributed much in the way of racing knowledge to today’s SuperGT and Super Taikyu race categories.
  5. SuperGT GT500 GT-R Special Battle – See the victorious Nissan GT-R’s from SuperGT 2008 series battle in a special race against each other. Godzilla wins for sure.
  6. Grid Walk – Get up close with the GT-R’s on the Fuji Speedway racetrack grid where spectators can walk amongst them. Requires special ticket of course.
  7. Final – Parade lap for all the cars participating in Nismo Festival as the sun sets.

Paddock Area

  1. Exhibition Cars and Engines Corner – See Nismo / Nissan cars from racing days gone by.
  2. Exciting Corner – Get down in the pits as the racing GT-R’s scream past.
  3. NISMO Pits – Get in and checkout the Nismo pits up close.
  4. SuperGT Talk Show events – A chat with all the various parts of the SuperGT 2008 teams. Race queens, team managers, GT300 drivers and GT500 drivers throughout the day.

Stand Area

  1. Opening Ceremony – 9:00am start
  2. 50th Anniversary of the international motor racing success fan appreciation ceremony
  3. Various talks and stage events – Questions, quizzes, charity auction, a chat with the Gran Turismo 5 developers, a chat with the Nismo drivers
  4. Pit Lane work exhibition – You might get a chance to try changing tires on a GT500 race car.
  5. Test Drive corner – Take a test drive of Nissan’s latest models.
  6. Gran Turismo 5 Driving Simulators
  7. KYOSYO Radio Control Hobby Corner
  8. Loads of things to keep the kids entertained.
  9. Nissan / NISMO Collection Shop Onsite – Buy all that GT-R related merchandise you can’t get outside of Japan!
  10. Nissan / NISMO Model Car Shop Onsite – Same for all those GT-R models that are hard to get.
  11. Garage Sale Corner – Pick up a souvenir from a race team here. Some race car parts used in this seasons race go on sale. Gotta be quick to pickup good stuff here as it goes very quickly! Everything from brakes to carbon panels.
  12. Nismo Shop – Checkout the Nismo upgrades available for your Nissan.

Link: Nismo Festival 2008 Home Page

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Nismo Festival 2008 – Dates Announced

August 7th, 2008

The 12th Annual Nismo Festival is now locked in for Sunday, November 30th 2008. Held at Fuji Speedway, this year’s highlight is a giant SuperGT GT500 GT-R stage as well as loads of other GT-Rs old and new. Other events are also in the planning stages.

This is one of, if not THE best GT-R event annually in Japan and thousands upon thousands will be in attendance. Definitely worth a trip to Japan just for this.

Source: Nismo via GTR-World.net

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