While rushing around frantically trying to cover the Nismo Festival a couple of weekends back I decided it would be cool to dedicate a little extra space to one of the many historical race cars that were sitting in the pits. As ever, I found myself drawn to the Hasemi Motorpsort DR30 Skyline that participated in the Japanese Super Silhouette series in the early eighties, a car built to FIA Group 5 regulations and sporting the usual wild look that all cars in this class boasted.
It is one that I have always paid a particular interest to at all the Nismo Festivals I have covered over the years. Let’s take a closer look at some of the details that make up this DR30 Skyline RS Turbo. First the SSR wheels. These featured a special vent-like front plate on top of the main wheel part, that at speed, would help extract heat from the brakes.
Group 5 regulations stipulated that cars had to be based on their road going counterparts and maintain the stock hood and roofline as well as the doors. Fenders width, front and rear overhangs and aerodynamic parts were up to the teams which is why cars that participated in this cool class ended up looking like this! Cars like this iconic Skyline are responsible for kick-starting the whole bosozoku movement, with enthusiasts trying to replicate the dramatic lines of the racers on their street cars. It all went a little crazy after that and we all know what bosozoku cars look line nowadays!
Front and rear fenders were massively extended to cover the redesigned suspension layout and…
…the huge wheels which are actually 19-inch at the rear for a staggered look.
This was Masahiro Hasemi’s office, the place from which he tried to keep this monster of a car straight during those grueling races against the BMW M1s and Nissan Silvias.
The main instrument panel where important engine parameters are kept in check.
The LZ20B up front develops around 570 HP with a nice helping of good-old, early-eighties, turbo lag! A little higher boost can always bring more power and the boost gauge reads to 3 bar! They run 1.5 bar at events like the Nismo Festival. Check out this video of a short test drive of the Tomica DR30 on a wet Tsukuba circuit to get an idea of how savage the power delivery is.
To get in the driver needs to swing open this part of the roll cage. Notice how the doors have been Swiss-cheesed to make them as light as possible.
The side exit exhaust continuously spits out massive flames on each downshift, something the car was very well known for back its time.
The GT-wings of today have nothing on this massive metal spoiler riveted to the body!
To get an idea for how wild this car sounds and to see it more in detail take a look at this video, which shows Hasemi-san driving it during the 2000 Nismo Festival at the “old” Fuji Speedway, as well as some vintage footage of the races at places like Tsukuba.
1984 was the final year the Gr.5 cars like this were raced in Japan. The R30 Skyline then began competing in Group C racing sporting the same Tomica colors as this car and again with Hasemi behind the wheel. What an incredible period of production-car based racing. A truly epic era.]]
-Dino Dalle Carbonare