Nissan NISMO prepares for 2017 Super GT season-opener

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

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 João 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.”

Mardenborough further said that his body took a physical beating, but the feeling when driving was absolutely one-of-a-kind. The NISMO GT500 cars have air-condition, but the drivers do not generally use them, due to the cool conditions at the Fuji Speedway.  The drivers predict a hot and humid summer in the land of the rising sun when the season opening race kicks off at Okayama. All drivers aim to stay cool inside the cars to maintain racing composure and competitiveness. Mardenborough, like his fellow Nissan NISMO drivers, is looking forward to drive the cars at the first round event and fighting it out in the most competitive Japanese Touring cars championship.