- Nissan concludes Super GT season — NISMO Festival next
- Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 to tackle Macau
Nissan Super GT aces ready for NISMO Festival after final Super GT round
Nissan’s Super GT aces will turn their attention to the 2018 NISMO Festival after completing the final round of the 2018 Super GT Championship at Twin Ring Motegi.
The leading Super GT stars and cars will join an amazing collecting of Nissan race cars from the past and present at Fuji International Speedway for the 21st annual NISMO Festival on December 2.
Nissan’s Formula E car will also make its debut on home soil in Japan.
Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli led the way for Nissan in the final Super GT round with a seventh-place finish in the shortest race of the year – 250km.
Quintarelli took the opening stint and pitted early on lap 20 to hand over to Tsugio Matsuda. The Japanese ace’s long 35-lap stint was disrupted by a spinning Honda with six laps to go and he briefly lost a position to the No. 12 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 of Daiki Sasaki.
Three Nissan’s eventually filled the top ten with Matsuda and Quintarelli in seventh; Satoshi Motoyama and Katsumasa Chiyo in ninth plus JP de Oliveira and Mitsunori Takaboshi tenth.
The Jann Mardenborough/Daiki Sasaki entry was running in eighth place in the closing stages, but in the final lap, Sasaki found himself on its last drops of fuel. This caused him to fall back down to 11th place.
Nissan already has its sights on bouncing back in 2019 after recording a single victory at Fuji in 2018.
“We were able to take victory in round two of this year, but from around summer all our rivals became faster making it a rough season,” Quintarelli said.
“There are numerous areas we need to look over and we’re already talking to the engineers about these issues. We will all work hard together to make next year Nissan’s year.”
Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 ready to tackle Macau with KCMG
Nissan customer team KCMG will contest this weekend’s FIA GT World Cup with a trio of Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 entries for Tsugio Matsuda, Alex Imperatori and Oliver Jarvis.
All three drivers have driven for KCMG throughout 2018, with the trio contesting this year’s Suzuka 10 hour and Matsuda and Imperatori racing in two and four rounds, respectively, in the Blancpain GT Series Asia.
The 6.120km street circuit in the former Portuguese territory is one of the longest and most spectacular street circuits in the world.
First used in 1954, the 19-turn circuit is unique with a 30-meter variation between its highest and lowest points, an incredibly fast and long front straight featuring two flat-out kinks offset by one of the slowest corners in the world – the seven-meter-wide Melco hairpin.
Matsuda will make his return to the Macau circuit after previously finishing fourth here in the Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix in 1999.
“Macau is a very challenging course, but I’m really looking forward to racing there again,” Matsuda said.
“I remember fighting side-by-side with Jenson Button in Formula 3 down to the first corner at Lisboa. It was a shame I couldn’t get one more spot and get on the podium but hopefully, I can do that in the FIA GT World Cup.
“I think we should be very strong. The Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 was very fast when I drove it in Blancpain GT Series Asia and I’m looking forward to seeing how the car will perform in Macau.”
On-track action begins on Thursday with the first practice session. Qualifying is on Friday followed by a 12-lap qualifying race on Saturday and Sunday’s final 18-lap battle for the FIA GT World Cup.
This weekend will also feature the FIA WEC in neighboring China with the ByKOLLES team doing battle in Shanghai.
The Nissan-powered team finished fifth in the last round at Fuji Speedway with James Rossiter, Tom Dillmann, and Oliver Webb at the wheel.
The Chinese race is the final 2018 race of the 2018/19 FIA WEC Super Season, which will finish at next year’s Le Mans 24 Hour. The series resumes at Sebring International Raceway in March.
FIA World Endurance Championship, Shanghai, China
FIA GT World Cup, Guia Circuit, Macau
Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Newcastle, Australia
NISMO Festival, Fuji International Speedway, Japan