You are looking at what the Nismo Festival was all about this year, racecars. Nissan has never forgotten that enthusiasts want to see their favorite production cars on the race track, something that helps build a strong image for the brand. The concoction of GT-R race engines that were unleashed on the circuit throughout the day was a true visual and aural experience, with crackling and backfiring VK45DEs, VQ30DETTs…
…and of course the best of them all, the mighty RB26DETT. As ever the Gr.A BNR32s are the cars that grab the most attention from enthusiasts as the sheer success these things had in Japan and around the world is what the whole GT-R legend is built on.
Other legendary rides included this Nismo Z-tune on display at the Zele International stand, by far one of the best BNR34 ever built. Actually this reminds me, this car really deserves it's own feature. Would anyone like to see more on the Z-tune?
Super GT isn't the only interesting race championship in Japan, there is also Super Taikyu, the old Gr.N series. Engines are not allowed to be tuned much, mainly small modifications like balancing and more sophisticated engine management, while chassis are allowed to be strengthened and the bodies lightened.
This is one of the most beautiful race cars Nissan has ever built, but unfortunately at the time this Kenmery was built the oil crisis hit and the Nissan pulled out of racing.
The widebody R33 on the left is of course the GT-R LM that competed in the 1996 Le Mans 24 h race. To enter this car Nissan had to build a street going GT-R LM, one other car we will need to do a spotlight on as there is only one in existence!
The 2009 GT1 GT-R was attracting a lot of attention throughout the day.
Here is Super GT driver Michael Krumm, who also drives the GT1 GT-R in the FIA GT.
Ever wondered what the engine of the R391 looks like? Here is the VRH50A in its full naturally aspirated glory. The engine and gearbox serve as the mounting points for the inboard push-rod Dynamic suspension. If you are into the more technical aspect of these kind of cars then you would have, like myself, drooled over this for a good ten minutes!
Before the R391 and right after the R33 GT-R LM we saw above came this car, the R390 that first competed in the GT1 class at Le Mans in 1997. Nissan was still using turbocharging at this point on this V8, the 3.5L VRH35L.
Thanks to the turbochargers the engine develops 641 HP, not a bad figure if you consider the R390 weighs just over 1,000 kg.
Tomei had their Z33 demo car out…
…fitted with their brand new Expreme Ti titanium exhaust system. As ever with Tomei parts, quality is simply awesome and this is designed for high performance, being one of the lightest on the market. This Expreme Ti is also available for the Evo X (it weights 4.4 kg!!) with more applications to follow. The best thing however is the price, finally a titanium exhaust that doesn't need to break the bank!
More Tomei goodness in the form of an RB28 kit, RB26 oil pump and stainless steel headers. These are the kind of things I do not need to see sold at a discount!!! I took a deep breath and got the hell out of there before I did any damage…
…and went to find me a race queen to shoot!
This is one car we will be seeing tomorrow at Tsukuba. Tsukada-san of ATTKD has been working on his R32 demo car all year to make it even faster for this year's Super Lap Battle…
…which includes a fresh engine and some minor modifications. This remains one of the fastest GT-Rs in Japan.
Mine's has been doing great things with the new R35 GT-R but their two demo cars were nowhere to be seen at the Fuji Speedway paddock. The street-tuned BNR34 was present however, a car that never really got much attention as everyone was always more interested on their blistering fast circuit-spec R34. This is the best of two worlds, powered by the same 600+ HP engine as in the extreme time attack car, in a more street-tuned and road-legal package. This is actually Nikura-san's daily driver when he is not driving one of the R35s.
I really want to try these Endless brakes out one time. It's the first monobloc 6-pot caliper made by a Japanese company and they look sensational. Check out the "E" grooved discs!
Yes it was cold, I tried to ask her to strip but she gave me a weird look. Took the sticker instead and made my way…
…back to R31 House to see some more rare machinery. A wagon Skyline, way before the Stagea was even thought up! I can't get over how damn sexy this thing looked.
Things got even better under the hood, with a beautifully presented engine bay and highly tuned RB20DET.
The owner of this particular R31 is an obvious fan of Impul/Calsonic…
…so when he managed to ask Hoshino-san to sign his dashboard…
…he was beyond happy!
He was in pure ecstasy and couldn't believe the great man himself had just signed his car. He was in this same position at the end of the day. I think he will have a grin on his face for the next year! LOL
And talking of Impul, here is a rear shot of the aggressive 2009 GT500 GT-R.
HKS had their R34 GT-R Driving Performer, a car I drove back when it was first built a few years back. Another one worth a feature as it's one of the smoothest single-turbo GT-Rs I've sampled.
Hope you liked taking a walk through the paddock at the Nismo Festival. I'll concentrate on more track action next, not to mention the finale of the day. Don't miss part 3!
-Dino Dalle Carbonare