There is no doubt Nismo wanted to concentrate on the legendary racing history of the GT-R at the Nismo Festival this year, with a very evident focus being placed on more modern machinery. The next year will be very exciting for Nissan, Nismo and the GT-R as the FIA GT GT1-class R35 that has been under development for the past year takes on a full season of the FIA GT Championship.
John Brooks has already taken a look at the 2009 car in detail, but after seeing the 2010 development cars at Fuji Speedway I though yet another post was in order, after all these cars look simply amazing!
Michael Krumm and Darren Turner participated in four races of the 2009 season, more as a final development before the car competes full time in 2010.
The intense development program is far from over however, as Krumm will be back testing from early January, and will probably be at it until the beginning of the racing season in April. For this post however I want to focus more on the car from an enthusiast's point of view, taking in all of the details that make this R35 one of the coolest racing machines Nismo has ever built.
The 2009 car was brought back to Japan and was also present at Fuji the other weekend. You really have to look very hard to find differences from this to the new 2010 cars…
…and the first thing you spot are the little canards placed low on each corner of the front bumper, although these were used on the 2009 cars on and off. There now seems to be two louvered openings on the hood after the main central air outlets but apart from that there aren't many other noticeable aesthetic changes.
Unlike in Super GT, FIA GT allows the use of carbon brakes, which is something I spent some time looking over in detail. What you see around the disc is what looks like to be a front "backing" plate of some sorts, probably there to keep all the nasty carbon dust contained. Notice the brake ducting coming in from the front bumper intakes.
Take a look at the thickness of the brake pads up front!
The intake on the rear fender…
…is used to cool the rear brakes, something that can be easily seen with the wheels removed. Just like up front 6-pot monobloc Brembo calipers are used.
Rear aerodynamics are taken care by the massive rear spoiler, which is attached directly onto the rear section of the chassis. The trunk lid simply lifts away and is held down with two latches.
The best thing about the FIA GT GT-R is that it maintains a very close tie to the actual road car, something that definitely can't be said about the awkward looking Super GT cars.
The driving position has been shifted backwards for optimal weight distribution and to have the driver sit more inline with the B-pillar for obvious safety reasons.
The carbon-Kevlar Bride bucket seat is fitted with Takata belts, a very JDM oriented style here!
I love the carbon pedal box, a very cool detail. Notice all the heat insulation, needed to keep the heat coming from the VK56DE away from the drivers.
The side intake on the driver-side fender is also used to channel cooling air towards the transaxle Ricardo sequential gearbox.
All the electrics and various modules are neatly laid down on the passenger side of the cockpit.
I've said this before and I'll say it again, someone out there needs to make a body kit that emulates the lines of this car. Unlike the weird looking Super GT racers you can really feel a tie to the road car looking at the FIA GT R35.
Here is the 2009 car being driven around Fuji by Michael Krumm, a hero in Japan after having spent most of his racing career driving for Nissan.
I guess the next time we will see the 2010 cars they will be wearing their full livery, but what will also be interesting to see is if there will be any other teams out there that will be running a GT-R. I can't wait for the 2010 season to get going and really see how the GT-R fares against all the other cars in GT1.
-Dino Dalle Carbonare