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Motor Magzine: Nissan GT-R Returns to Bathurst

February 14, 2009 Comments off

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

Categories: Magazines/DVD/Books, Motor Magazine Tags:

VIP Petfoods Nissan GT-R Finishes Second in Targa Wrest Point Tarmac Rally

February 1, 2009 Comments off

The inaugural Targa Wrest Point short course tarmac rally was held this weekend in southern Tasmania, Australia. Three Nissan R35 GT-Rs were entered into the event, the VIP Petfoods GT-R driven by Tony Quinn and the two Donut King Racing Nissan GT-Rs driven by Tony Alford and Peter Leemhuis.

Tony Alford’s GT-R suffered brake pad issues on day one of the event. The front brakes weren’t biting hard enough causing the rears to be overworked. Overheating the rear brakes caused their pace to slow near the end of the day. Team Donut King Racing had experienced the same type of issue during the Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge tarmac rally in October 2008 so saw that pads were changed overnight.

The pad changed proved to be successful and day two was better with Alford’s pink GT-R finishing in 9th position overall.

Peter Leemhuis started off the rally in great shape in the second Donut King Racing R35 choosing to start with a different brake pad compound to Alford. They finished in 8th position after day one.

Day two was not so great for them however, they set a quick pace in the morning but had an off just after lunch time, they chose not finish the race.

Tony Quinn’s rally got off to a great start, being the second rally Quinn has driven the GT-R in he now “believes in the car” after spending the time with it competitively. The experience gained is giving him insight into what the car will do under certain conditions and he’s quicker for it, even managing to have the top speed record of 191km/h on stage TS3 Geeveston.

In comparison to the Porsches Tony has driven throughout the years, he says the GT-R is a lot easier to drive fast. His GT-R remains almost completely standard, standard suspension and tires. An upgraded exhaust is fitted since Tony prefers the car to be loud and finds the standard exhaust to be far too quiet.

Overall he was very happy with the performance of the car;

“The car has gone brilliantly all weekend, we’re really pleased. Look out if it’s wet in Targa in April, we’ll be hard to beat.”

Quinn finished in second place on day one, 16 seconds behind the race leader but poised for a great day two.

Day 2 was a continuation of day 1 for Quinn as the consistency of both driver and GT-R shone through. Tony was able to nudge ever closer to first place, at one point being within 2 seconds of the lead. After some hard work and great driving the VIP Petfoods GT-R finished in second place just three seconds behind the Porsche 911 GT3 RS of Greg Garwood and in front of Targa super-star Jim Richards in his Porsche 911 GT2 and tarmac rally veterans the Whites in their Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera.

Congratulations to Tony, Tony and Peter on your work racing the GT-R in real competition and great work being so successful at it.

Thanks to Joel Strickland for his Targa Wrest Point report and for allowing us to use his photos. Video below and more photos and videos from Targa Wrest Point after the read more link below.

Link: Targa Wrest Point Website
Link: Joel Strickland Photographics Website
Link: Tarmac rally related articles on GTRBlog

Read more…

Hi Octane Nissan GT-R to Compete at Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge 2008

September 27, 2008 Comments off

Just a week until the Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge begins and two Nissan GT-Rs are finalising preparations for the event. Hi Octane Racing, driven by Russel Newman and Ben Wooster and Donut King’s Targa Tasmania veteran R35 driven by Tony Alford.

The Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge (not to be mistaken with Targa Tasmania) is a two day tarmac rally on the North West coast of Tasmania, Australia on from 4th – 5th of October. It annually attracts Australia’s best tarmac rally teams including the usual big name drivers like Jim Richards in his Porsche 911 GT2.

GTRBlog has been following the Hi Octane GT-R’s tuning and modification keenly since it landed in Australia from Japan in June 2008. Stopping first in Sydney, we got a quick look at it in completely standard form for a few photos before it was picked up by Russell and off up north to Brisbane.

Russell is not the kind of guy who can leave a car standard though and even before the car had landed he was looking at upgrades. At the time, ECU tuning was still in it’s infancy and the choices were limited to ECU exchanges in Japan (Mine’s VX-ROM was considered) or crack the ECU yourself.

Click the Read More link below to keep reading!

Link: Hi Octane Racing Home Page
Link: Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge Home Page
Photos/Details: Russell Newman, Hi Octane Racing

Read more…

Quit Targa West: Steven Jones in Nissan GT-R Takes Outright Victory!

September 7, 2008 Comments off

The Steven Jones driven Nissan R35 GT-R has taken outright victory in the 2008 Quit Targa West making this the first competition win worldwide for the production GT-R. Jones takes a second honour of being the youngest winner of the Targa West at just 24 years old.

Steven really shows how strong he as a driver is and how good the Nissan GT-R is when you consider the experience and speed of the teams he has beaten out in this event. Jim Richards in his Porsche 911 GT2, for example, is a Targa winning machine taking victory in the Targa West and the Targa Tasmania more often than not in the past 10 years.

To top it off, the Nissan GT-R was on factory run-flat tires while competitors were on R-compound tires.

Congratulations to the Fabcar team, amazing job at winning the first time out in the new GT-R!

Images: Tom Jakovljevic (teejay) from Skylines Australia and Paul Brockbank @

Link: Quit Targa West Home Page and Results

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Quit Targa West: GT-R Results After Day 2

September 6, 2008 Comments off

The Quit Targa West has concluded day two of racing and the Fabcar Nissan GT-R is leading the field in front of some extremely tough competitors.

Steve Jones in the GT-R started off the day running second or third in each section to Jim Richards in the Porsche 911 GT2 or Kevin Week’s Superleggera but come stage 14 he picked up the pace and aced every section.

Fabcar are in a great position for the continuation of the race tomorrow. Hopefully they can bring the prize home. Good luck guys.

Images: Dan from Skylines Australia Forums
Link: Quit Targa West Home Page

Read more…

TargaWest This Weekend – Fabcar GT-R Prepared

September 4, 2008 Comments off

The annual Quit Targa West is being held this weekend in Western Australia. Fabcar have been gearing up for this since first importing their JDM Nissan GT-R into Australia back in January this year.

They’ve now got the GT-R stickered up for the action and are ready to go.

The Quit Targa West is on from the 4th – 7th of September 2008 and will attract some top notch cars and drivers. Last years winner was Jim Richards/Barry Oliver in a Porsche GT3 RS followed by Tony Longhurst/Jahmeil Taylor in a Skelta G-Force. The GT-R will have it’s work cut out for it!

We’ll try and keep you updated on how the event goes through the weekend!

Image Source: Skylines Australia Forums
Link: Fabcar Home Page
Link: Quit Targa West Home Page

Targa Tasmania Day 1 – 9 Stages

April 16, 2008 Comments off

Well day one is over, the leaders have all charged very hard during todays 9 stages.

The result is that Jim Richards/Barry Oliver (Car #919) are at the head of the leader board. Leading by only 1 sec back to Steve Glenney/Bernie Webb (Car #975)in 2nd place, with Tony Longhurst/Jahmeil Taylor (Car #922) 3 secs behind.

The Donut King/Just Jap Nissan R35 GTR of Tony Alford/Karl Farmer (Car #901) is back in 23rd, 57 secs behind the leaders.

Tomorrow has the competitors running 8 stages, beginning with the Sideling stage before heading over to the East coast of Tasmania then returning back to finish the day in the historic racing town of Longford.

Keep coming back to for further updates. Pics from today below:

Read more…

Categories: Targa Tasmania Tags:

Fabcar Launch R35 GT-R For Targa West Tarmac Rally Team

January 24, 2008 Comments off


Fabcar’s R35 GT-R which we saw earlier on the docks in Perth, Australia is destined to be driven by Steve Jones in the “Quit Targa West” tarmac rally in September this year. Last night was the official launch of this, their first of two cars for the event, at their headquarters in Western Australia.

Another GT-R for Fabcar is on it’s way and will also be for Quit Targa West 2008 to be driven by Tolli Challis.

The Quit Targa West is on from the 4th – 7th of September 2008 and will attract some top notch cars and drivers. Last years winner was Jim Richards/Barry Oliver in a Porsche GT3 RS followed by Tony Longhurst/Jahmeil Taylor in a Skelta G-Force. The GT-R will have it’s work cut out for it!

Video Link: Youtube: Story on Australian Channel 10 News

Image Source: Tom Jakovljevic (teejay) and rev210 @ Skylines Australia Forums
Link: Fabcar Home Page
Link: Quit Targa West Home Page

Categories: GTR News Tags: , , , , , ,