On Monday, Nissan and NISMO (Nissan Motorsports) announced their global motorsports plans for 2018, including their team and driver lineups for the 2018 Autobacs Super GT Series.
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. They will also enter GT300 with two newly evolved 2018-spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s and two of the previous 2015-spec GT-R GT3s.
Continue reading Nissan announces 2018 Super GT programmes
The complexion of Nissan and NISMO’s entry into the premier class of the Autobacs Super GT Series will be different in 2018, thanks to the arrival of NDDP Racing with B-Max, who will step up from the GT300 class to the GT500 class this season.
With legendary former driver and team director Masahiro Hasemi at the helm of the operation, the #3 Craftsports Motul Nissan GT-R will be a threat for the title as they take the place of past GT500 and GT300 champions MOLA International on the grid.
The team have also brought in MOLA’s two drivers over the previous two seasons: Three-time GT500 champion Satoshi Motoyama, and 2015 Blancpain GT Endurance Cup champion Katsumasa Chiyo, who are both ready to make a serious push for wins and podiums in 2018.
Continue reading NDDP Racing and B-Max step up to GT500 with Motoyama & Chiyo
The Nissan Driver Development Programme (NDDP) has already graduated the likes of Katsumasa Chiyo and Daiki Sasaki to the premier class of the Autobacs Super GT Series. But 25-year-old Mitsunori Takaboshi is being regarded as the most impressive talent they’ve ever brought up.
So it seemed as if it was only going to be a matter of when, not if, the Saitama-born driver would get his chance at a full-time GT500 drive in a Nissan GT-R. On Monday, Nissan confirmed just that, by giving Takaboshi his first full-time GT500 drive in 2018 with Kondo Racing.
Takaboshi, the reigning All-Japan Formula 3 Champion, will join veteran Brazilian driver João Paulo Lima de Oliveira as the newest driver of the #24 Forum Engineering Advan GT-R, in the hopes of reviving the fortunes of Masahiko “Matchy” Kondo’s team after a difficult 2017 season.
Continue reading Nissan protegé Takaboshi earns GT500 promotion with Kondo Racing
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