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Interview with Motul Nismo Racing Team Director and Lead Driver

July 14, 2008

Recently the Nismo R35 GT-R was out at Sendai Highland Raceway performing shakedown tests in preparation for the Tokachi 24hr race coming up this weekend.

GTR-World.net managed to get some time to speak to the team director, Kumagai-san to ask him about Nismo and Motul’s goals and motivations in entering this race, Japan’s only 24 hour endurance event. Lead driver Masami Kageyama was also there for a chat about the car itself.

MOTUL Nismo Racing Team Director Kumagai

GTR-World: Tell us, why have you put this car and team together for this race?
Kumagai-san: We’ve developed the car for this race to put these new Motul competition oils and Nismo parts we have developed to the test. To verify their durability and efficiency before they go on sale.

GTR-World: The car is very close to the production model, is this on purpose?
Kumagai-san: Definately, we want to prove the reliability and endurance capabilities.

Check out the rest of the interview after the jump.

Source: GTR-World.net

GTR-World: What are the goals of the race?
Kumagai-san: To finish the race without having trouble with the car.

GTR-World: Why are you at Sendai Highland testing?
Kumagai-san: We need to verify our specifications before Tokachi. We’ve already found some problems but they’re within our expectations.

GTR-World: Each time the GT-R is pitting after 3 laps, what is that for?
Kumagai-san: Yes we’re trying various settings and comparing to our specifications.

GTR-World: Finally, what are your aspirations for the team
Kumagai-san: To get through this first race, a tough one, with this close to standard GT-R. While efficiency and reliability are our goals, ultimately we want to finish the race. Also we want to further contribute to and improve the image of the Nissan GT-R.

Motul Nismo Team Racing Driver Masami Kageyama:

GTR-World: Firstly, the results from testing. How was it?
Kageyama-san: I was able to compare and try different specifications out before Tokachi.

GTR-World: How does it compare to the R34 GT-R Super Taikyu racing car?
Kageyama-san: Well the R34 GT-R Super Taikyu car – the FALKEN 2002 GT-R is size years old now. The R35 GT-R cannot be compared really. The weight balance is better because of the transaxle and the paddle shift gearbox makes it easier to drive. The R34 GT-R was a good car but the R35 is great and for the price it is fully equipped with the latest gear.

GTR-World: Finally, what are your ambitions for the race?
Kageyama-san: We’ve entered the Tokachi 24hr race to test the new Nismo parts and Motul oils for durability and reliability. We want to finish the race and that will be a good result by itself. In this regard we have no rivals to beat. We’re not expecting to compete with the Super Taikyu cars.

GTRBlog.com translation

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