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Nismo Festival 2008: GT-R Special Battle

December 3, 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…