While the first track appearance of the all-new Nissan GT-R in Australia may be as 'nothing more? than the safety car for the V8 Supercars, a proper race-spec GT-R has eaten up the competition in the opening round of the 2009 SuperGT GT500 series in Japan.
Starting at third place on the grid, Joao Paolo de Oliveira and Seiji Ara took the No. 24 HIS Advan Kondo Nissan GT-R to a commanding 21-second lead over the No. 18 Rockstar Dome Honda NSX by the time it crossed the finish line.
Conditions at Okayama International Circuit added another obstacle to victory, with heavy rain and a soaked track to contend with.
Oliveira steered the GT-R through 52 of the 82 laps, but took the lead in only the third lap of the race.
The margin grew out to 10 seconds by lap 20, and by lap 30 the car was holding a steady 20 second gap.
When Ara replaced Oliveira in the car, the Brazilian had built a 50 second lead.
In an effort almost as laudable as that of the victors, the No. 12 Impul Calsonic Nissan GT-R started in tenth position before clawing its way to fourth position as the chequered flag waved.
It wasn?t all glory for the GT-R badge, though, with the No. 3 Hasemi Tomica Ebbro Nissan GT-R battling from 12th to 9th and 10th position before rookie Hironobu Yasuda spun off in lap 46. The car returned to the track though, finishing 12th.
The No .1 Motul Autech Nissan GT-R, driven by Satoshi Motoyama and Benoit Treluyer, suffered a spate of incidents caused largely by its position at the back of a pack spraying up endless waves of water.
Because of this, Treluyer collided with another car on lap three and came up with a badly banged up front end.
A drive-through penalty only made things worse for the No .1 GT-R, and a return to the pits to patch up the front-end damage left the car finishing, ironically, in 13th position.