FUJI INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY, Japan: Nissan’s assault on the 2017 Super GT Series in Japan will kick off in two weeks when the championship stages its first round at Okayama on April 9.
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 testing at Fuji was forced to be cancelled due to snow and fog.
Nissan’s four-car line-up for 2017 features Tsugio Matsuda / Ronnie Quintarelli (MOTUL AUTECH GT-R); Hironobu Yasuda / Jann Mardenborough (Calsonic IMPUL GT-R); Daiki Sasaki / João Paulo de Oliveira (Forum Engineering ADVAN GT-R) and Satoshi Motoyama / Katsumasa Chiyo (S Road CRAFTSPORTS GT-R).
Teams enter 2017 with new spec cars in GT500 which 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,” Mardenborough said.
“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.
“Physically your body takes a bit more of a beating but what surprised me was how cool it is inside the car. I expected it to be super-hot but we do have air conditioning.
“However, we haven’t really needed to use it yet because it is already quite cool in there. It will get pretty hot and humid in the summer in Japan so staying cool will be a big focus.
“We’ve just had the final test at Fuji and the next time I’ll be in the car will be for round one at Okayama.
“I’m really enjoying the car to drive, the power is great and I’m looking forward to fighting it out in Super GT in the top class in 2017.”