- Nissan dominates Super Taikyu season
- Super GT GT-R aces ready for final race of season
- Heimgartner impresses for Nissan Motorsport on home soil
Nissan completes Super Taikyu season with fifth victory
Nissan has completed its domination of the 2018 Pirelli Super Taikyu Series in Japan with the No. 24 ThreeBond Nissan Automobile College GT-R team taking the final race win of the year at Okayama.
The Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 won five of the six rounds in 2018 including the Fuji 24 Hour race in early June and the overall championship.
Yuudai Uchida, Tomonobu Fujii, and Kazuki Hiramine scored their second victory of the year with a 32-second margin over the championship-winning No. 99 Y’s distraction GTNET GT-R squad of Teruhiko Hamano, Kazuki Hoshino and Kiyoto Fujinami.
All three GT-Rs won in 2018, with the championship-winning No. 99 Y’s distraction entry taking the opening round at Suzuka and the Fuji 24 Hour and the No. 24 Kondo Racing squad taking winning round four at Autopolis and the final round at Okayama. No. 3 Endless Racing won round five of the series at Twin Ring Motegi.
The Kondo Racing squad, which ran the ThreeBond Nissan Automobile College entry, recently announced they will graduate to the Super GT series in 2019 in the GT300 class.
“This student project started in 2012 and over the past seven years and 37 races we’ve scored 25 podiums and ten victories,” Tomonobu Fujii said.
The Nissan Fairlady also went to victory lane in the ST-3 class in 2018 with Okabe Jidosha Motorsport winning at Sportsland Sugo.
Nissan looking to finish final Super GT round on a high
Nissan is looking to finish the final round of the 2018 Super GT Championship on a strong note with Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli aiming to replicate their victory from last year.
The Japanese/Italian combination dominated here last year taking pole position and racing away to the win despite suffering contact from behind on the warm-up lap.
The win was a record-breaking performance for the duo. It was the 19th for Matsuda, giving him the record for the most wins ever in the history of Super GT. Quintarelli’s 13th victory also gave him the record for the most wins by a non-Japanese driver.
Matsuda and Quintarelli have added one more victory to their totals in 2018 with a win at Fuji Speedway in round two earlier this year.
Jann Mardenborough and Daiki Sasaki are another Nissan duo looking to finish on a high note after twice looking set to win this year–at Fuji and Sportsland Sugo–only to suffer misfortune.
Nissan will also be seeking another victory in the GT300 class at the final round. Hiro Yasuda and Katsuyuki Hiranaka won on July 1 in Thailand this year for the Gainer Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 team.
This Sunday’s final round of the Super GT championship will be streamed live on NISMO.com and NISMO.tv.
Kiwi local Heimgartner impresses on home soil
Nissan Motorsport’s Kiwi local Andre Heimgartner has scored an impressive result in the final race of the ITM Auckland SuperSprint at Pukekohe Park.
The Nissan Altima Supercars driver completed the race in eighth place after a strong qualifying performance which put him in the Top 10 Shootout.
“Yeah, it was a good solid day. It’s always good to be in the top 10 and then go up a couple of spots,” said Heimgartner.
“It was a good day of racing, and I’m really happy with it.
“Yesterday was frustrating, getting double stacked in pit lane, so we were able to avoid all of that today. I had clear air, and it was a really solid result.”
The result was the second top ten for the team after Michael Caruso scored 10th in the opening race of the weekend on Saturday despite only qualifying 17th.
“It was an awesome recovery, to be honest,” Caruso said.
“We miss-timed our last run in qualifying when it rained and didn’t get the most out of the car because it was damp.
“We knew we had qualified out of position, so to claw our way up seven positions and finish 10th in a pretty fair result.”
The final round of the 2018 Supercars Championship will be held on the streets of Newcastle on November 23-25.
Super GT, Twin-Ring Motegi, Japan
FIA World Endurance Championship, Shanghai, China
Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Newcastle, Australia
NISMO Festival, Fuji International Speedway, Japan