NISMO’s Super GT drivers prepare for 2017 championship

NISMO’s Super GT drivers prepare for 2017 championship

 By Scott Green
March 27, 2017

Nissan’s 2017 Super GT season in Japan will kick off in two weeks when the championship stages its first round at Okayama on April 9.

The championship conducted a pre-season test at Fuji International Speedway last weekend with all four Nissan GT-R GT500 machines taking part.

Unfortunately, the second day of test at Fuji was canceled due to snow and fog.

Nissan’s four-car lineup for 2017 features Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli (MOTUL AUTECH GT-R); Hironobu Yasuda and Jann Mardenborough (Calsonic IMPUL GT-R); Daiki Sasaki and Joo Paulo de Oliveira (Forum Engineering ADVAN GT-R); and Satoshi Motoyama and Katsumasa Chiyo (S Road CRAFTSPORTS GT-R).

Teams enter 2017 with new spec cars in GT500 that feature reduced downforce compared to last year.

GT500 newcomer and former Nissan GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough has been enjoying the step up to GT500 after recording race-winning performances in GT300 for Nissan in 2016.

“We’ve been busy testing the GT500 car in the lead-up to the new season,” said Mardenborough. “Compared to the GT300 we have a lot more power and downforce, and certainly for a GT car with a roof this is the most amount of grip I’ve had except for single seaters. The car behaves like a big single seater and the power is crazy. Physically your body takes a bit more of a beating, but what surprised me was how cool it is inside the car. I expected it to be super-hot but we do have air conditioning. However, we haven’t really needed to use it yet because it is already quite cool in there. It will get pretty hot and humid in the summer in Japan, so staying cool will be a big focus. We’ve just had the final test at Fuji and the next time I’ll be in the car will be for round one at Okayama. I’m really enjoying the car to drive, the power is great and I’m looking forward to fighting it out in Super GT in the top class in 2017.”

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NISMO Calendar

April 1-2
FIA WEC Prologue, Monza, Italy

April 8-9
Super GT, Okayama, Japan
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Long Beach, California, USA
Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Symmons Plains, Tasmania, Australia

April 15-16
FIA World Endurance Championship, Silverstone, England

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