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Motor Magzine: Nissan GT-R Returns to Bathurst

February 14, 2009

The Nissan GT-R is often referred to as Godzilla, but where did the name “Godzilla” originate? It may seem obvious to you and I in 2009 to call this Japanese monster of a car Godzilla but someone got there first way back in 1989. It was in July of that year when Wheels magazine published a cover story which was to give birth to the legend by calling the 1989 R32 Skyline GT-R “Godzilla on wheels”.

It was a catchy name and when Nissan came through and homologated the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R in Australia to participate in Group-A touring car racing it really did stick.

The R32 GT-R made it’s Australia Group-A touring car championship racing debut in 1990 when it qualified for it’s first Bathurst 1000, an annual 1,000km endurance race at Mount Panorama circuit in New South Wales, Australia. It didn’t finish in 1990 but it dominated the Great Race 1991 and 1992. Controversy followed and the Group-A R32 GT-R did not return in 1993.

Fast forward to 2009 when the Nissan GT-R is set to make it’s official return to Australian shores in the form of the R35 GT-R. It’s only natural to take it back to The Mountain to see how it competes in standard form against modern day supercars. Motor Magazine recently did exactly that when they got the chance to test an Australian specification Nissan GT-R at Mt Panorama for the March issue on sale now.

They take the first Aussie GT-R to the Drive Bathurst event run by 1991 Bathurst 1000 GT-R driving winner Jim Richards. While putting the GT-R to the test they manage to set the quickest pace of the event as well as unofficially beat the production car lap record on a partially damp track setting a 2:25.59 lap time.

There’s lot’s of praise for the power delivery and some complaints about the brakes after the fast downhill second half of the lap but overall a good review.

The issue is on shelves now, quite a good read.

Photo: Motor Magazine March 2009

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