- Nissan wins final Super GT round at Motegi
- Micra Cup set to return for three more years
- Counting down to the 2017 NISMO Festival
- Endurance seats filled for IMSA 2018 assault
Nissan claims victory in the final Super GT at Motegi
Twin Ring Motegi, Japan – Nissan has completed the 2017 Super GT championship in the best possible way with an incredible pole to chequered flag victory at the final round of the series at Twin Ring Motegi.
The victory elevated Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda to second place in the championship – the duo finishing the year only three points away from claiming their third championship as a duo.
The win was the 19th for Matsuda, giving him the record for the most wins ever in the history of Super GT. Quintarelli’s 13th victory also gives him the record for the most wins by a non-Japanese driver.
Quintarelli put the pair in contention for the win by a record-breaking lap in qualifying to earn the pole. However, contact from behind on the warm-up lap damaged the rear of the No. 23 Nissan GT-R.
Despite this, the Italian leaped into the lead off the start and opened up a gap at the front of the field. He handed over to Matsuda on lap 24 and the Japanese ace continued the stunning pace through to the chequered flag on lap 53 to record a victory by more than six seconds.
The pair’s championship hopes were dashed by points leaders Nick Cassidy and Ryo Hirakawa finishing second. Had the duo finished one further spot behind in third – Quintarelli and Matsuda would have been champions.
“I was a little worried with that contact at the start of the race, but there was no problem with the balance of the car and I was able to run perfectly from then on,” Quintarelli said.
“I’m glad we were able to win this race but to be honest, I also wanted to win the championship and so it’s a little disappointing that we missed out on it by such a small margin.
“Still, considering the difficult struggles we had at the beginning of the season, I think it’s amazing that we could come this far. Thank you so much to the fans for their continued support.”
Nissan completed two more top tens with Satoshi Motoyama and Katsumasa Chiyo finishing sixth and Jann Mardenborough and Hironobu Yasuda seventh. The final Nissan GT-R of Daiki Sasaki / JP de Oliveira qualified fifth fastest but contact and a penalty pushed them down to 12th in the race.
Canada’s Nissan Micra Cup renewed for three more years
Montreal, Canada – Canada’s Nissan Micra Cup not only crowned its 2017 championship last weekend at the end-of-season banquet but revealed the series has been renewed for three more years.
2017 champion Olivier Bedard’s victory was celebrated on Saturday night – his second Micra Cup championship win.
The series was launched in 2015 with all drivers using identical, almost stock Nissan Micra S race cars. In its inaugural year, the Nissan Micra Cup took place in the province of Quebec only, and in 2016 – expanded to Ontario.
Over the past three years, approximately 25 cars have competed for the championship title each season, with drivers from diverse backgrounds and varying levels of experience. To date, the entry list has included drivers ranging from 18 to 64 years-old, four women, five international drivers and representatives from 12 Nissan dealerships.
“The Nissan Micra Cup has grown a lot over the past three years – we’ve preserved the exclusive, but welcoming and professional series theme, and have opened our doors to a much larger audience,” said Joni Paiva, president, Nissan Canada Inc.
“The Nissan Micra Cup is more than just a motorsport series. It is a testament to the reliability; affordability; and quality inherent not only in the Micra, but all Nissans in the portfolio.
“The Nissan Micra Cup is also another way for us to connect on a deeper level with the general public, the fans, Nissan owners and Nissan dealers, and we’re thrilled to bring the family spirit of the Nissan Micra Cup back to Canadian tracks for three more years.”
Countdown to the 2017 NISMO Festival at Fuji Speedway
Yokohama, Japan – The countdown continues to the 20th running of the NISMO Festival supported by Motul at Fuji International Speedway on November 26.
The annual fan appreciation day was first held in 1997 and features past and present stars and cars who have won major races and championships for Nissan and NISMO.
The fan festival is all about people who love cars and the “NISMO brand” and Nissan/NISMO’s “racing DNA”.
To celebrate this year’s event, NISMO has again launched its annual #NISMOments countdown on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and DriveTribe – highlighting the 23 greatest Nissan and NISMO moments of 2017.
Why 23 moments? The number 2 in Japanese is pronounced as “Ni” and number 3, “San”. The brand uses this number in major championships across the globe including Super GT, Blancpain GT Series and the Virgin Australia Supercars Champiponship.
Highlights celebrated so far have included the remarkable remote control Nissan GT-R /C, the brand’s return to victory in the IMSA championship in the US, Jann Mardenborough’s impressive Super GT performance in Thailand, victory in the Asian Le Mans Series, top ten Supercars results at Bathurst and podiums in Pirelli World Challenge.
Follow Nissan on social media to see the remaining key #NISMOments of the year.
Pla, Lapierre fill out Nissan and ESM’s IMSA endurance lineup
Yokohama, Japan –IMSA’s Nissan-powered ESM team have finalised their driver lineup for 2018 with Olivier Pla and Nicolas Lapierre joining for the four North American Endurance Cup rounds.
The two Frenchmen will join regular season drivers Johannes van Overbeek, Pipo Derani, Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel for Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta.
For Pla, 2018 will mark a return to Nissan power after driving the Nissan LMP1 at Le Mans in 2015.
“I’m delighted to join the Tequila Patrón ESM team for the endurance races in the NAEC,” said Olivier Pla.
“Racing against ESM in the past I know what they are capable of and I think we will have everything to perform at the very best.”
- NISMO Festival, Fuji International Speedway, Japan
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Newcastle, Australia