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Steane Klose | Mar 2, 2009

According to a Nissan press release, the R35 GT-R will begin appearing in the FIA-GT1 racing category this year rather than in 2010, as was previously rumoured.

A NISMO-developed GT-R will attend four events this year as a non-competitive entry to test and fine-tune the platform. Nissan will then partner with Gigawave MotorSport and GT500 drivers Michael Krumm and Darren Turner to properly contest the 2010 FIA GT1 series.

r35_gtr_fia_gt1_race_car

Details of the car itself are thin on the ground, but rumours suggest the twin-turbo V6 engine could be dropped in favour of the GT500 style VK45D8 4.5 litre V8.

This would see power and torque figures in the vicinity of 400kW-440kW (540-590hp) and 600-700Nm (450-500 lb-ft) respectively.

In the same announcement, Nissan also revealed details on its larger SuperGT aspirations with four teams confirmed for competition.

NISMO, Hasemi Motor Sport, Impul and Kondo Racing will each field a GT-R in the GT500 class of this year’s series.

Hit the press release below for full details on Nissan's planned racing activities for the 2009 series and if you get the chance, be sure to catch some SuperGT action, it's a hoot to watch.

Announcement on Global Motorsports Activities for 2009

TOKYO (February 27, 2009) - Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd. (NISMO) today announced their global motorsport programme for 2009.

For 2009, Nissan continues to participate in the SUPER GT series, GT500 class, which is the highest level in Japanese domestic motorsports, with the Nissan GT-R. Nissan will also support grassroots activities in select countries outside of Japan to help nurture the motorsports culture, which has millions of fans throughout the world.

"Motorsports is an important part of Nissan's strategy for building a strong brand with consumers who share our passion for high-performance driving," said Carlos Tavares, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. "In addition to being an important touch-point for consumers, motorsports serve as a dynamic proving ground for automotive innovation."

1. SUPER GT

Vehicles

The R35 model Nissan GT-R will be entered in the GT500 class of SUPER GT.

This year's entries will incorporate changes that include an improved air-cooling system and a paddle-shift transmission. The vehicles also conform to the racing body's latest regulation changes to decrease down force through shortened vehicle overhang. NISMO provides technical assistance and vehicle development to all participating teams.

Team Composition

This year's line-up of NISMO, HASEMI MOTORSPORT, TEAM IMPUL and KONDO RACING will deploy 1 car each for a total of 4 Nissan GT-Rs that will race in the GT500 class series. Kunihiko Kakimoto remains as general manager in charge of Nissan related teams with the NISMO team managed by Yutaka Suzuki. HASEMI MOTOR SPORT team welcomes to its roster Hironobu Yasuda, who trained in the rigorous Nissan Driver Development Program (NDDP).

Car

No: Entrant: Team Manager: Drivers: Vehicle Name: Tyre Maker:

1 NISMO Yutaka Suzuki Satoshi Motoyama / Benoit Treluyer MOTUL AUTECH GT-R Bridgestone

3 HASEMI MOTOR SPORT Masahiro Hasemi Ronnie Quintarelli / Hironobu Yasuda TBA Michelin

12 TEAM IMPUL Kazuyoshi Hoshino Tsugio Matsuda / Sebastien Philippe IMPUL Calsonic GT-R Bridgestone

24 KONDO RACING Masahiko Kondo João Paulo de Oliveira / Seiji Ara HIS ADVAN KONDO GT-R Yokohama

2. Private racers category

1. March Cup series

Providing amateur racers a chance to experience the thrill of auto racing, Nissan holds the March Cup races (East Japan Series, West Japan Series, Nissan March Championship Cup). This pits private racers with actual racing conditions, with each car equipped with a data logger and GPS to record the racing lines taken by drivers. As previously announced, 2009 is the final run for the March Cup series.

2. Japanese domestic private teams

1. SUPER GT GT300 class

Technical assistance will be given to private teams competing in Fairlady Zs.

2. Super Taikyu series

Technical assistance will be given to private teams competing in Fairlady Zs in both ST1 and ST3 classes.

3. Global Race activities

China

Aiming for a 3rd championship win, Nissan and NISMO will provide technical assistance to its China partner Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd., which enters its Nissan Tiidas in the 1600cc Class of the China Circuit Championship (CCC). The event is the country's premier domestic racing event, where locally manufactured production-based race cars compete. Nissan Tiida won the title in 2006 and 2008.

South Africa

With 8 consecutive Driver's championship wins, Nissan seeks to retain its title in the South Africa Off-Road Championship. Dominating the event will be the Nissan Navara, well known for its controlled performance and rugged reliability.

Europe

To check the performance of cars to be sold to racing teams competing in the FIA-GT1 class, a NISMO-developed car will run as a non-championship entry in 4 races in 2009, entered in a team partnership with Gigawave MotorSport. It is expected that the car is to be driven by Michael Krumm (NISMO) and Darren Turner (Gigawave).

Gigawave MotorSport, a racing team based in county Essex, England, has been competing in the FIA GT Championship since 2007. The team's parent company Gigawave Ltd., as an official partner of the FIA GT Championship, provides on-board cameras for real-time coverage of the races. http://www.gigawavemotorsport.com/

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