Nissan targets more success at Fuji Speedway in Super GT

Images from the Japanese Super GT Championship round 1 at Okayama

Super GT returns this week with the annual Fuji 500km event scheduled as part of Japan’s annual ‘Golden Week’ holiday celebrations.

Practice and the race will actually be held on Thursday and Friday at the historic Fuji circuit – the scene of many previous Nissan victories and the home of the annual NISMO Festival.

Nissan will be looking to bounce back after both the No. 23 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500s of Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda and the No. 12 entry of JP de Oliveira and Mitsunori Takaboshi were hit with drive-through penalties for allegedly jumping the start at the opening round of Okayama.

Nissan has taken seven victories here at Fuji in the past 15 years, including three consecutive wins in 2014, 15 and 16.

De Oliveira and Hiro Yasuda took the pole in the most recent race-winning event in 2016 with Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli earning the win.

The Calsonic car with de Oliveira and Yasuda also took the pole and race win in 2014 – a result the new Calsonic teammates Jann Mardenborough and Daiki Sasaki are looking to emulate this weekend.

This is a great week for Super GT with a longer 500km race and lots of fans on site with the ‘Golden Week’ holiday celebrations happening in Japan,” Mardenborough said.

“I’m looking forward to Fuji. The long straight really suits the GT-R because of our straight-line speed, and aerodynamically the car is very good in a straight line.

“We tested here a month ago, and the car was very strong.

“We learned a great deal from Okayama and enter this weekend without any penalty weight so that’ll really help – particularly in the braking zones in turn one and nine.

“I really enjoy racing at Fuji. The long straights make it easier to get through the traffic the back part of the track in sector three is a lot of fun.

“Daiki and I are both very excited about the weekend ahead. We’re ready to push hard and get on the podium in GT500.”