Nissan and NISMO announced their 2018 motorsport activities today from their headquarters in Yokohama, and with it, outlined their participation in the 2018 Autobacs Super GT Series, with four Nissan GT-R GT500s and four Nissan GT-R GT3s.
Nissan enters four Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500s, aiming to recapture the championships it won in 2014 and 2015. Nissan won five out of eight races in 2016 and missed the 2017 title by a mere 2 points.
Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli, the 2014 and 2015 champions, will again drive NISMO’s No. 23 Motul Autech GT-R, marking their fifth straight season as a driving combination. Matsuda is the most successful GT500 driver in the history of the championship, with 19 wins. Quintarelli holds the series record for most GT500 Drivers’ Championship wins, with four titles.
Making its GT500 class debut, NDDP Racing with B-MAX will pair veteran three-time GT500 champion Satoshi Motoyama – entering his record 22nd consecutive GT500 campaign, with young star Katsumasa Chiyo.
Team Impul and the world-famous #12 Calsonic GT-R will feature former Kondo Racing driver Daiki Sasaki alongside GT Academy graduate Jann Mardenborough, while 2017 Japanese Formula 3 champion and NDDP top prospect Mitsunori Takaboshi steps up from the GT300 class with Kondo Racing with the aggressive Brazilian veteran, João Paulo de Oliveira.
Nissan’s efforts in GT300 will now be led by Gainer, which will field two brand-new 2018-spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s.
The 2018-spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500’s updates include aerodynamic improvements, including optimization of air flow along the vehicle’s center, enhanced drivability, with increased engine output and improved durability, and revision of all alterable components to optimize the car’s potential.
In the #11 Gainer Tanax GT-R, running on Dunlop tyres, former Team Impul driver, and 2008 GT300 Drivers’ Champion Hironobu Yasuda joins longtime Gainer driver Katsuyuki Hiranaka.
And in the #10 Gainer Tanax triple a GT-R, now equipped with Yokohama tyres, Kazuki Hoshino moves over from NDDP Racing to join the returning Hiroki Yoshida.
Privateers Tomei Sport (#360) and Dijon Racing (#48) will also field previous-spec GT-R GT3s, with their driver lineups to be announced at a later date.
#3 NDDP Racing with B-Max (Michelin)
Satoshi Motoyama & Katsumasa Chiyo
#12 Calsonic Team Impul (Bridgestone) Daiki Sasaki & Jann Mardenborough
#23 NISMO (Michelin) Tsugio Matsuda & Ronnie Quintarelli
#24 Kondo Racing (Yokohama) João Paulo de Oliveira & Mitsunori Takaboshi
#10 Gainer (Yokohama) Kazuki Hoshino & Hiroki Yoshida
#11 Gainer (Dunlop) Katsuyuki Hiranaka & Hironobu Yasuda
#48 Dijon Racing (Yokohama) TBA
#360 Tomei Sports (Yokohama) TBA