Lexus and Nissan carried out their first tests of their 2017 GT500 class cars that will debut in next year’s Autobacs Super GT Series. In addition to the Lexus LC 500 that was revealed on August 26, this test also saw the first glimpse of the new 2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500.
The first of the two-day shakedown test at Suzuka Circuit had defending GT500 champions Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli (NISMO) testing the 2017 GT-R on Michelin tyres, while newly-crowned Suzuka 1000km champions Yuji Tachikawa and Hiroaki Ishiura (Lexus Team ZENT Cerumo) tested the LC 500 on Bridgestone Potenza tyres.
Styling-wise, the GT500 racing version of the GT-R has been updated to incorporate the “V-Motion” grille design seen in most Nissan production vehicles, now including the MY2017 GT-R road car.
Apart from that, the rest of the changes derive from the revised regulations meant to restrict downforce and slow the cars down. While most of the aerodynamic parts had been camouflaged on the Nissan, the changes from 2016 to 2017 were still very much visible on the lap charts.
The LC 500’s fastest lap was a 1:50.078, a lap time over two and a half seconds slower than the current GT500 lap record at Suzuka, a 1:47.456. The 2017 GT-R recorded a best lap of 1:50.659.
Both cars will continue their shakedown tests tomorrow.