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2014 Bathurst 12 Hour: ?Godzilla? Returns To The Mountain After 21 Years Photo:
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2014_nissan_gt_r_nismo_17 Photo: tmr
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2014_nissan_gt_r_nismo_gt3_bathurst_12_hour_03 Photo: tmr
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2014 Nissan GT-R Nismo - Overseas Photo:
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Trevor Collett | Feb, 07 2014 | 13 Comments

Nissan’s ‘Godzilla’ GT-R has returned to Mount Panorama in Bathurst after a 21-year absence, ready to compete in this weekend’s Bathurst 12-Hour.

The latest Godzilla is actually a Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3, and this weekend marks the first time the GT-R brand has competed at ‘The Mountain’ with a factory-backed team since the car’s controversial victory in the Bathurst 1000 of 1992.

Bringing an international flavour to Mount Panorama, the Nismo Athlete Global Team driver line-up features Alex Buncombe from England, Wolfgang Reip from Belgium and Katsumasa Chiyo from Japan, along with local Nissan driver Rick Kelly.

Buncombe, Reip and Chiyo are regular GT-R Nismo GT3 pilots, while Rick Kelly tested the car at Malaysia’s Sepand circuit last month.

Kelly made his Bathurst 1000 debut in 2001, but is competing in his first Bathurst 12-Hour, while the three international drivers will all make their Bathurst debuts this weekend.

“Even just standing here in pit lane the car looks incredible,” Kelly said.

“I think the Nissan team has got a really good balance of drivers who have got a lot of experience in the GT-R Nismo GT3, and then myself having a lot of experience of this track. So we can really help each other out throughout the weekend and with the collective car and track knowledge that we have got, hopefully we can turn that into a really good result.”

The team has started the weekend positively, with the third quickest time in this morning’s practice session, as the racing weekend gets underway.

A privately entered Nissan GT-R with backing from Donut King competed in last year’s 12-Hour in Class C, finishing 22nd outright. The Donut King team has switched to Lotus for this year’s race.

Stay tuned to TMR for more from the 2014 Bathurst 12-Hour, with the race set to begin at 06:15 on Sunday morning.

Scroll down to see a video of the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 lapping Mount Panorama earlier today.

 
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