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One Lap 2009: Nissan GT-R Proving a Potent Performer

May 5, 2009 Comments off

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As it stands today the Nissan GT-R driven by Steven Rankin and Will Taylor of team Cannonball GT-R is leading the overall points table of the Tire Rack One Lap of America 2009. Followed closely behind by the Porsche 996 GT2 driven by Peter Lier and Ian Stewart. Back in 5th place overall is Freedom Autosports Nissan GT-R of Derek Whitis, Tom Long and Mark Pombo.

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Leg 1 – Tire Rack Wet Skid Pad

The GT-Rs had a mixed start on the first event – Will Taylor in the #3 Cannonball GT-R managed an amazing 0.953 g average to break the 5 year standing record. A credit to his choice of suspension and tires and the GT-Rs chassis as a whole. Freedom Autosports #2 GT-R didn’t do so well and at 0.846 g average and in 18th place for the leg were said to have “dug themselves a hole” and left themselves an uphill battle to come back.

GT-R 1, Porsche 0, Corvette 0

Leg 2 – Autobahn Country Club – South Course

Another good / bad event for the Nissans. Track conditions were not the best, the surface was reported to be quite slippery with debris and dirt. Steven Rankin driving the #3 Cannonball GT-R pushed his machine to finish in second place with a time of 5:05.563. A course that probably favored the RWD Porsche GT2 of Peter Lier which clocked a 5 minute flat run for first place. Mark Pombo in the #2 Freedom Autosports GT-R had an off and finished back in 11th with a 5:19 run.

GT-R 1, Porsche 1, Corvette 0

Leg 3 – Turfway Park – Autocross

For a heavy car the Nissan GT-R’s of both team Cannonball and Freedom Autosports pulled off some great times at event three. Finishing in first place, Cannonball GT-R managed a 38.999 second run while in fourth was the Freedom Autosports entry with a time of 41.541 seconds. Fantastic work and the beginning of the comeback for the green machine.

GT-R 2, Porsche 1, Corvette 0

Leg 4 – Highland Rim Speedway – Rained Out

Leg 5 – Talladega Gran Prix Raceway #1

The first event at Talladega was good for both the Porsche (#1) and the GT-Rs. While the GT2 won the event, the GT-R’s finished 2nd (#2 Freedom) and 3rd (#3 Cannonball) hot on it’s heels.

In this leg, less than 2 seconds separate 1st and 3rd but then there’s more than 4 seconds until the next fastest car, an M3 in 4th.

GT-R 2, Porsche 2, Corvette 0

Leg 6 – Talladega Gran Prix Raceway #2

The 4 second gap between 3rd and 4th in Talladega may have seemed large but it grew in event six out to almost 6 seconds. This time the #3 Cannonball GT-R was in front with the familiar #1 Porsche GT2 in second and the Freedom Autosports in 3rd.

The time between 1st and 3rd for this event is still just 2 seconds. It’s about as close as it gets.

GT-R 3, Porsche 2, Corvette 0

So at this stage, the GT-R reigns but it’s not safe to say it will necessarily stay that way. Each event is proving to be a close finish with the Porsche nipping at the GT-Rs heels and vice versa.

For videos and photos of the event I recommend checking out the Cannonball GTR blog linked below as well as the NAGTROC threads on the events.

Link: Cannonball GT-R Blog
Link: Tire Rack One Lap of America – Results