YOKOHAMA, Japan – Excitement is building for GT-R fans ahead of the 20th Super GT Series beginning in early April.
Drivers and teams were announced at the opening this week of the new NISMO headquarters in Japan.
Last year, GT-R cars won races around the world, including the first win at the British GT Championship and GT Cup.
The focal point for this year's development is aerodynamics, said NISMO President Shoichi Miyatani.
Nissan will have four vehicles in the GT-500 class.
Driver Ronnie Quintarelli won the Super GT championship last year, for an unprecedented second consecutive time with teammate Masataka Yanagida.
Going into this year, driving their Number 23 car for NISMO Motul Autech, Quintarelli is confident.
"We won the first time together in 2011 – the first title. And last year, we went with the same package for the 2012 season. In the first part of the season it didn't go so well. In the second part everything started to work well and we could win the championship again – which was really amazing," said Quintarelli.
"It will be the first season to drive in the No. 23 car – the NISMO car. I will have the same teammate as last year, Yanagida-san, and the same Michelin tires. So I'm very confident to have a good season."
Fellow GT-R driver Brazilian JP de Oliveira races in the No. 12 car, the Calsonic IMPUL GT-R.
Oliveria said he's eager to do his best with teammate Tsugio Matsuda for the championship.
"I'm looking forward to improving our result from last year. We finished fourth in the championship," said Oliveria. "I've started my third year with Tsugio as my teammate. Every year we have a step forward in our relationship, and we improve everything in regards to what we can do to make the team and the car better."
"This year, as the only Bridgestone-running team within the Nissan cars, it's going to be a new challenge for us, because obviously there's a little bit less information. But at the same time, we can try to adapt that as much as we can to only our car, to fit our car very well."
Yokohama, Bridgestone and Michelin are the tires for the GT500 and GT300 classes.
Bernard Delmas, President & CEO of Nihon Michelin Tire, says Super GT is the right place to develop the relationship between car and driver.
"Super GT is something special, because it has a lot of races all throughout the year, so the conditions are changing. And not just the race location, but the different type of circuit, different type of temperature – a lot of rain, very hot or very cold," said Delmas.
"All of those extreme conditions make an excellent place to develop specific tires and really the best for the car and the driver."
NISMO also announced as part of its expansion of high-performance vehicles that it would develop a GT-R NISMO.
The 20th season of the Super GT Series kicks off this April at Japan's Okayama Circuit.
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