From its original heyday in the early ’90s in Japanese Touring Car racing, to the success it’s enjoyed as a mainstay of the Autobacs Super GT Series, the #12 Calsonic Nissan GT-R fielded by Kazuyoshi Hoshino’s Team Impul has been the series’ single most-revered and recognized machine on the grid for over a quarter-century.
On Monday, it was announced that 26-year-old Daiki Sasaki, a graduate of the Nissan Driver Development Programme (NDDP), would move from Kondo Racing to partner Welshman Jann Mardenborough in the Calsonic GT-R for 2018.
The two drivers were already hard at work at testing the car at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, and the union of two of Nissan’s best young drivers should have Team Impul and their supporters excited about finally capturing a long-awaited GT500 crown.
Continue reading Sasaki & Mardenborough to drive Calsonic GT-R for Team Impul
Ryo Hirakawa and Nick Cassidy, both just 23 years of age, are two of the brightest young stars in the Autobacs Super GT Series – and in all of global motorsport. On Sunday, they took a defining step towards becoming the youngest GT500 champions in series history, by driving the #37 KeePer TOM’s Lexus LC500 to victory in the 66-lap Chang Super GT Race, held at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand.
In a race that began under treacherous conditions, Hirakawa and Cassidy overturned an 11-point deficit into a 6-point lead in the standings on the eve of the Motegi GT Grand Final at Twin Ring Motegi on November 12.
They led home a Lexus 1-2 finish, ahead of the #6 Wako’s 4CR LC500 of Kazuya Oshima & Andrea Caldarelli, who moved into second in the standings, ahead of the #23 Motul Autech Nissan GT-R of Tsugio Matsuda & Ronnie Quintarelli, who fell to third in the championship tables after a ninth-place finish.
Continue reading Lexus Team KeePer TOM’s seize championship lead with Buriram victory
The four Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500s will be the first to trial the first of two engine updates this season at this weekend’s upcoming Sugo GT 300km Race at Sportsland SUGO.
Nissan executive director Toshikazu Tanaka expects the revised NR20A engine to feature “greater reliability, better performance, and to be more competitive” as NISMO, Calsonic Team Impul, Kondo Racing, and MOLA each bid for the GT-R’s first victory of the 2017 season.
Continue reading Nissan brings first GT500 engine update to Sugo
During the second day of the Autobacs Super GT Series official test at Suzuka Circuit, a surprise inter-session ceremony was held to honour one of Japanese motorsports’ all-time legends – as Kazuyoshi Hoshino, founder and CEO of Impul, celebrated his 70th birthday.
Joining thousands of fans on hand for the test, were GT Association chairman Masaaki Bandoh, and the rest of the team of the #12 Calsonic Impul Nissan GT-R including drivers Hironobu Yasuda and Jann Mardenborough.
Continue reading Kazuyoshi Hoshino honoured at Suzuka on 70th birthday