[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter claiming nine international championships around the world in 2015, Nissan will continue to participate in various categories and championships as well as build on its customer support programs in 2016.
Seasoned NISMO Athletes continue to fly the flag in Japan, North America, Europe, and Australia.
By category and drivers, here is where Nissan/NISMO will be this year:
SUPER GT GT500
Having proudly claimed the SUPER GT GT500 Championship for two years in a row, Nissan/NISMO now seeks to make that a hat-trick of victories in 2016.
Four Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 teams will compete in the GT500 class. Fresh from a two-year stint of Blancpain Endurance Series and Bathurst 12-hour races, Katsumasa Chiyo will make his GT500 debut in 2016.
Toshikazu Tanaka, Corporate Vice President of NISMO will take over the role of Nissan GT500 team executive director from Kunihiko Kakimoto. Kakimoto has served as executive director for 12 years since 2004 and contributed to Nissan’s 12 GT500 series titles.
Series regulations do not allow for the development of aero and suspension parts this year, so the car remains in the same specification as 2015, but with increased engine and tire performance. While the engine specification remains the same, improvements have been made to both combustion and the intake/exhaust system, which will see higher efficiency and reliability in line with the new 5 percent “less fuel” rule
Developed by NISMO, the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 won the GT300 class title of SUPER GT and Pro Class championship of the Blancpain Endurance Series in 2015. In collaboration with its program partner in Europe, JRM, NISMO will continue to support Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 customers by providing vehicles and technical assistance.
After winning one of the most competitive GT3 titles in the world in 2015, Nissan/NISMO expands its commitment with its first official entry in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, supplementing its championship-winning commitment to the Blancpain Endurance Cup.
Continuing the Blancpain GT Series challenge in Pro and Pro Am which began in 2011, RJN Motorsport will continue to run the program under the management of Bob Neville, with support from NISMO.
The driver line up in the Blancpain GT Series once again utilizes drivers from all areas of Nissan’s global motorsport family. After the success of Katsumasa Chiyo’s program in Europe, NISMO has assigned 23-year-old young Japanese star Mitsunori Takaboshi to continue his development program in the Pro class of Blancpain championship, teaming up with highly experienced Alex Buncombe and Lucas Ordóñez.
The 2015 GT Academy winners from the International competition (Australian winner Matt Simmons) and GT Academy Europe (French winner Romain Sarazin) will join Sean Walkinshaw, who joins the team after impressive displays in 2015.