Nissan aiming for qualifying return for #23 GT-R
Nissan is optimistic a repair can be completed on its #23 GT-R in time for qualifying at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
The team suffered its second cruel blow of the event when its entry piloted by Katsumasa Chiyo hit the inside wall at The Esses in Practice 5 which damaged the right front of the machine.
Chiyo’s crash arrived just minutes after Nissan’s sister #24 GT-R of Florian Strauss, Todd Kelly and Jann Mardenborough returned to the track following an extensive overnight rebuild when the car hit the wall in third practice.
Following an initial assessment, the #23 car is fixable having suffered damage to the right front suspension and exhaust.
The team is targeting a return to the track for Qualifying 2 (Class A GT3 only) which is due to start at 1150 local time.
An hour qualifying session for all competitors is due to be held prior to the hit out at 1040, although it is not compulsory for Class A machinery.
“The accident has ripped the right suspension off but there is no damage to the chassis. It has also done some damage to the exhaust,” Nissan team boss Bob Neville told Speedcafe.com.
“We seem to have everything we need and we have had terrific parts support.
“We have got to get out in Qualifying 2 somehow but you just never know as these things can hit a snag. It is always difficult to predict.”
Meanwhile, the #24 enjoyed a trouble-free return to competition with Jann Mardenborough at the wheel.
The Welshman joined the session at the halfway-mark following the team’s miracle repair job.
“The car seems ok,” Neville added.
“We are just doing some of the jobs we didn’t have time to complete before it returned to the track.”