Nissan confirmed the full range of their 2021 motorsports activities, including their sports car racing programmes in the Autobacs Super GT Series and the Pirelli Super Taikyu Series.
Nissan’s GT500 driver lineups were announced in January, headlined by the addition of former FIA Formula 2 Championship driver Nobuharu Matsushita at Team Impul, and the transfer of Daiki Sasaki to partner fellow Nissan Driver Development Programme (NDDP) graduate Mitsunori Takaboshi at Kondo Racing.
It was confirmed today that all four Nissan GT500 teams will retain their title sponsors, tyre partners, and team directors, from last season.
The #23 Motul Autech GT-R of NISMO will be driven by two-time GT500 Champion Tsugio Matsuda and four-time GT500 Champion Ronnie Quintarelli, and Yutaka Suzuki will once again manage the NISMO team. Toshikazu Tanaka returns for his third season as team director of NDDP Racing with B-Max, and the #3 CraftSports Motul GT-R of two-time GT500 Champion Kohei Hirate and Katsumasa Chiyo. These two GT-Rs will run on Michelin tyres.
Meanwhile, the #12 Calsonic Impul GT-R of Matsushita and Kazuki Hiramine, managed by the legendary Kazuyoshi Hoshino, will continue on Bridgestone tyres. And Masahiko Kondo is expected to return to his post as Kondo Racing team director in 2021, the team that runs the #24 Realize Corporation Advan GT-R of Takaboshi and Sasaki. Kondo was not present for today’s online event, having voluntarily withdrawn from public appearances since November.
Kondo Racing have also brought in Takuji Murata, formerly of TGR Team ZENT Cerumo, to be the Chief Engineer of the #24 Realize GT-R. Murata was the lead engineer for Cerumo when they won their most recent GT500 Championship in 2013. He was also the race engineer for Hiroaki Ishiura during his two Super Formula title-winning campaigns, in 2015 and 2017.
Nissan also confirmed that five customer GT-R NISMO GT3s will compete in the GT300 class of Super GT, headlined by Kondo Racing’s #56 Realize/Nissan Automobile Technical College GT-R, piloted by defending GT300 champions Kiyoto Fujinami and João Paulo de Oliveira.
Kondo Racing’s GT300 entry will once again be supported by the student and sales mechanics taking part in the Nissan Mechanic Challenge initiative.
Gainer will field two Nissan GT-Rs as before, but for 2021, both of Gainer’s cars will run on Dunlop (Sumitomo Rubber) tyres. There are no changes in driver lineups for the upcoming season: The #10 Gainer TanaX with Impul GT-R will be driven by two-time GT300 Champion Kazuki Hoshino and Keishi Ishikawa, while Katsuyuki Hiranaka and 2008 GT300 Champion Hironobu Yasuda will return to pilot the #11 Gainer TanaX GT-R.
NILZZ Racing’s #48 Shokumou/K’s Frontier GT-R will once again be driven by clubman racers Yuki Tanaka and Taiyou Iida.
The #360 RunUp Rivaux GT-R returns, with their entry now listed under the team name “RunUp”. 2001 GT300 Champion Takayuki Aoki and gentleman racer Atsushi Tanaka return to driving duties, alongside 56-year-old GT300 newcomer Yuudai Uchida, a top gentleman racer in the Super Taikyu Series – an ST-X (GT3) Champion in 2016, and a back-to-back ST-Z (GT4) Champion in 2019-20.
In the Super Taikyu Series, Nissan will support two GT-R NISMO GT3s in the ST-X Class – the #9 for MP (Magic Project) Racing, and the #81 for Daishin/GTNET Motor Sports. They will be complemented by two ST-3 Class Nissan Fairlady Z34 NISMO RC vehicles: The #15 of Okabe Jidosha Motorsport, and the #244 of Max Racing. Drivers for these programmes will be announced at a later date.The post Nissan Confirms 2021 Sports Car Racing Activities first appeared on dailysportscar.com.