With anniversaries and records to celebrate three Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 will be part of June’s Nurburgring 24 Hours.
The GT-R has a long history on the Nurburgring Nordschleife with Nissan committed to developing their performance road cars by testing around the historic circuit. On its latest visit to the track a road going GT-R set a new lap record for a volume production car, completing the circuit in 7:08.679 in the hands of Michael Krumm.
The German, part of Nissan’s Super GT line-up in Japan, will return to the Nordschleife for the race (June 21-22) as part of a two car line up from Nissan GT Academy Team RJN. The team name suggests the eight strong driver line-up leans heavily on the talent uncovered by the ‘couch to cockpit’ scheme.
In the #30 GT-R, numbered in celebration of 2014 being NISMO’s thirtieth year, Krumm will team up with his fellow Super GT pilot, Kazuki Hoshino, NISMO Global Exchange Driver Katsumasa Chiyo and Tetsuya Tanaka, the Japanese a regular on the Nordschleife.
In the sister car, carrying the #80 on Nissan’s 80th anniversary, Nick Heidfeld will head the team.
He enthused; “I’m delighted to increase my involvement with Nissan from my judging role on the German GT Acdemy show to now also include racing the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 in the Nurburgring 24 Hours.”
Heidfeld will share driving duties with, Florian Strauss, the German GT Academy winner he helped pick. Strauss will face the Nordschleife in only his fourth international racing start. The #80 team will be completed by works driver Alex Buncombe and Lucas Ordonez, the Spaniard the winner of the first GT Academy competition.
The third GT-R on the grid will be provided by Schulze Motorsport and carry another crucial part of the GT Academy success story – the man responsible for the Gran Turismo franchise, Kazanori Yamauchi. He will be joined by Jordan Tresson, another product of the GT Academy. Tobias and Michael Schulze complete the line-up.
All three cars will contest the SP9 class, the premier category in the race where they will fight for overall win against star studded line-ups from Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, BMW and Aston Martin.
“Driving a Nissan GT-R at the Nurburgring is pure pleasure,” said Krumm. “To have the opportunity to battle for top positions makes this year’s race very special for me. I have been waiting for this opportunity for a few years now, and it looks like this could be the shot for a good position.
He continued; “having said that, anything can happen at the Nordschleife. So we also need luck of course. For the young drivers in our team it will be a huge challenge. The Nordschleife is the most challenging circuit in the world and when you add rain and fog to the equation, things can get even more uncomfortable.”