Last weekend the 2009 FIA GT Championship had its first round, on the Silverstone Grand Prix track.
It was also the debut race for the Nissan GT-R, R35 model. On SpeedHunters we have written about this project which is in preparation for the 2010 FIA World GT1 Championship.
The car has created considerable interest so we thought it appropriate to bring the loyal SpeedHunters’ readers a gallery to see how the car looked in action.
The first thing to keep in mind is that the car is running to 2010 rules against cars running to the 2009 regulations. This puts the GT-R at a considerable disadvantage but the the whole aim of the project is test and refine the car in a competitive environment, so as to be ready to challenge for victory right from the start in the new World Championship. So that hopefully answers the question that some of you will have as to why the Nissan is not at the front of the pack……….for now.
Since the car first ran back in December, NISMO and their partner for the season, Gigawave Motorsport have racked up 6,000 kilometers without any major problems. Each outing has brought a new set of conditions and issues that the team then take back to base to solve. Silverstone was no exception.
There are three cars currently in the 2009 FIA GT Championship that are running to next year’s rules. Up against the Nissan is a pair of Ford GTs, one for the werks team, Matech GT Racing and one for the Belgians, Marc VDS Racing. So any measure of how the GT-R is doing is really only relevant when compared to the two Fords.
So Qualifying went OK with Michael Krumm getting round the old WW2 bomber base in 1:47.270. good enough for 11th place overall. The fly in the ointment was that the Ford GT of Bas Leinders managed to be .7 of a second faster. The other Ford GT, of Thomas Mutsch was only slightly slower that the NISMO entry.
At the start of the race, Krumm managed to get the jump on the Ford and led the “2010” class comfortably.
In the first stint of the race the GT-R climbed up to 8th place overall.
Then the solids hit the fan. A puff of smoke from the rear was the visible sign of a puncture.
Into the pits and then the cause of the puncture became apparent, a broken rear suspension was the blanket comment put out by the team.
There was no quick fix for the problem, so it was back into the pitbox for the car.
And down came the door…………………
So disappointment for the team but the whole reason for the limited programme in 2009 is to expose any shortcomings like the rear suspension failure.
So back to base to devise a fix. The next outing will be at Oschersleben in June, in preparation for the Spa 24 Hours the following month.
We will be there.