For 2017 Nissan are really bringing the heat to the mountain, entering two Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3’s for the Bathurst 12 Hour endurance event. 61 cars in total will be making up the grid on race day, one of the one’s to watch will definitely be the #23 GT-R. Set to be driven by the 2015 winner Katsumasa Chiyo, 2014 veteran Alex Buncombe from the UK and local talent Michael Caruso.
The #24 GT-R will also be driven by a 2015 winner and placing 2nd for 2016, Florian Struass who’s joined by Bathurst 1000 winner Todd Kelly and GT Academy star Jann Mardenborough. For 2016 Jann completed his first season in Japan competing in Super GT and Formula 3 and is the only one of the six who hasn’t experienced Bathurst but the rookie can’t wait to come over and try out the real thing. “It’s a race I’ve watch on television and played on PlayStation. I’m really excited to take part. Just playing the game, Sector 2 looks mega, so I can’t imagine what it will be like on the first lap and on qualifying tyres.” Mardenborough stated.
The recent success in 2015 for Nissan for the Bathurst 12 Hour and runner up placing the following year has given the team a goal to rally behind. “This year, I think our mission is simple – win back the trophy for the Nissan GT-R.” Katsumasa remarked. Now that there’s going to be two GT-R’s entering the race Nissan have a great opportunity to split their strategies and effectively double their on track testing. “It is the first time that we have entered two factory cars, so that will help collect data in practice and give us the best preparation for the race, and maybe even use different strategies. Bathurst is usually a place that delivers crazy racing and breathtaking finishes.” states Florian Strauss.
The 2016 trophy for the Bathurst 12 Hour went to Australian team Tekno Autosport’s McLaren with their 650s entrant and the team is sure to put up a strong fight to defend that title for this year. They were able to fend off one Godzilla in 2016 but can they handle two this year?