The Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 has claimed victory in the first 24 race to be held at Fuji International Speedway in 50 years with the “Y’s Distraction GTNET” Nissan customer team victorious in the round three of the Super Taikyu series in Japan.
The winning No. 99 GT-R’s driver line-up included Nissan Super GT GT300 aces Kazuki Hoshino and Hiro Yasuda alongside Teruhiko Hamano, Kiyoto Fujinami and Sun Zheng.
Nissan also dominated qualifying, locking out the front row of the grid with the No. 3 Endless Sports Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 entry taking the pole.
Fifty cars did battle across eight classes at Fuji Speedway in the first 24-race staged at the circuit since 1968. It was also the first 24-hour held in Japan since the Tokachi 24 Hours in 2008.
The No. 3 GT-R held the lead through to Sunday morning before encountering brake issues. The No. 99 then did battle with a pair of Audi R8s and took command of the race after the No. 83 Audi pitted to complete its second mandatory eight-minute maintenance pit stop at 10:30 am – the Y’s Distraction GTNET GT-R having already completed both of its long stops.
The Hoshino/Yasuda/Hamano/Fujinami/Zheng quintet dominated the remainder of the race to take victory by a margin of five laps.
“It was important to stay in contention on the lead lap through the night and prepare for the run to the flag on Sunday,” Hoshino said.
“I was able to tap into my previous experience with Nissan at the Nurburgring 24 Hour to help the team. It is a huge challenge – a 24-hour race with almost no sleeping.”
The victory by Hoshino was the second major 24-hour Nissan victory for his family. His father – Nissan legend Kazuyoshi Hoshino – won the 1992 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
The win also pushed the No. 99 to the top of the point standings in the Super Taikyu championship. The winning GT-R completed 759 laps and drove more than 3,400 kilometres across the 24 hours.