The V8 Supercars racing series’ Gen2 blueprint, to be introduced in 2017, has led to Nissan considering a rebirth of the mighty GT-R for the V8 Supercars Championship. The announcement came after speculation today that a conglomerate of Ford dealers plan to bring back the Mustang to keep the Blue Oval racing.
In an interview aired on Inside Supercars this evening, Nissan Australia boss Richard Emery said Nissan would look at its options regarding the comeback of the iconic Bathurst-winning car, nicknamed ‘Godzilla’ for its domination of the sport during the early 90s.
Since the Gen2 blueprint came into picture last year, it has been strongly rumoured the Ford dealer consortium plans to fund a Ford team to keep the brand in V8 Supercars with the Mustang high on its list of potential models.
The new rules, which are to be introduced at the start of the 2017 season, will open the way for additional engine and body configurations to compete alongside current V8 engines and four door sedans.
Since the approval of Gen2, teams and manufacturers have already started looking forward and weighing up options in preparation for the next phase of Supercars.
Emery detailed some of the considerations for Nissan, which has options including remaining with the Altima, or switching to the polarising ‘Godzilla’ GT-R.
“We have a number of opportunities, both in terms of our body shell with the Altima we’re running today and the GT-R and also some opportunities with the engines as well,” Emery said on Inside Supercars.
“The current engine – which will be four years in its development phase by the end of next year – and of course we’ll also have some engines developed for the GT-R globally.
“So there’s an engine that’s available to us that we use in our global GT-3 program with our GT-R, so that would obviously fit the new category rules as we understand them to be. But we also have an engine that we’re working on in this car that certainly is the other option we have.
“But certainly it is an iconic vehicle for us, it runs a very high level of technology and we have to match what we expect [from that car] … so the move for us to bring it into this sport will be a big step if that’s an option for us.”
Rick Kelly, team owner and driver for Nissan Motorsport, added that Nissan would need to consider the relevance of Supercars for the GT-R before making any changes.
“The Nissan GT-R has a very successful racing campaign all around the world, there’s no doubt about that,” Kelly said on the Inside Supercars panel.
“When you look at the Australian V8 Supercars category and what it’s got in there – at the moment Commodores, Falcons, the Volvo … right now the Altima fits really well in V8 Supercars, so it definitely depends on what the scenery is like in 2017.”
Kelly is the highest placed Nissan driver in the Championship in 10th, and all four Altimas have enjoyed top 10 finishes this season.
Source: V8 Supercars