Nismo, the motorsport arm of Nissan, entered the Nissan GT-R in the Super GT race series in the GT500 class for the 2008 season, replacing the Nissan 350Z.
The GT500 version of the car has a completely different drivetrain compared to the production car. The race car is upgraded to a VK45DE 4.5-litre naturally aspirated V8 instead of the twinturbo V6 VR38DETT. It uses a 6 speed sequential manual gearbox and a RWD layout from its predecessor, the 350Z race car.
A prototype was spotted testing around the Suzuka Circuit as well as Fuji Speedway in Japan. The car went on to win the opening race of the 2008 Super GT season at Suzuka scoring a one-two finish for Nissan. The dominant performances in the opening race has led to all GT-Rs being applied a 50 kg weight penalty in addition to the race weight penalty under the Special Adjustment of Performance under the Super GT regulations. In race two, the GT-R repeated their 1–2 result in Suzuka despite the race winning car of team Nismo carrying a 100 kg weight penalty making it only the 3rd team in JGTC/Super GT history to do so. The last time this feat was achieved was 10 years ago by Nismo Skyline GT-R racing under the same number 23. Despite the weight handicap, it did in fact become the champion in this 2008 season through the Xanavi Nismo GT-R driven by Satoshi Motoyama and Benoit Treluyer, as well as winning 8 out of 9 races driven by 4 different teams using GT-Rs.
The GT500 version scored 4 victories in the 2009 Japanese SUPER GT Series GT 500 class. In 2010 the VK45DE 4.5 litre engine was replaced by a newly developed 3.4 litre engine (VRH34A).
It also is the 2011 and 2012 Champion. Team Mola GT-R with drivers Ronnie Quintarelli and Masataka Yanagida got back to back championships in both Team and Driver in the Super GT500.
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