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Nissan reveals new Super GT car as replacement for GT-R

Nissan has taken the covers off the new Z GT500 car that it will campaign in Super GT’s top class from 2022.

2022 Nissan Z

Based on Nissan's latest road-going sportscar that was unveiled in August as a direct competitor to the Toyota Supra, the Z replaces the GT-R that has been in service since the 2008 season.

The announcement marks the return of the Z moniker in Japan's premier sportscar series for the first time in more than a decade, with Nissan having previously used the 350Z (Fairlady Z in some markets) as its GT500 base model for four seasons between 2004 and 2007.

Nissan has pinned its hopes on the new Z to end its longest barren run in GT500, having not won a title since NISMO pair Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli triumphed in 2015.

The brand has a history of successfully introducing new cars to the series, with the previous Z winning the title in its first year of competition in 2004 and the outgoing R35 GT-R repeating that feat in 2008.

The Z will go up against the updated Supra and the revised Honda NSX Type S, which is expected to be launched in the coming months.

“The Nissan Z GT500 symbolizes Nissan’s spirit of taking on challenges and bringing excitement to life," said Nissan COO Ashwani Gupta.

“Through our racing efforts we continue to innovate our cars and we race to win with the same daring we have displayed so many times over the years.”

2022 Nissan Z

2022 Nissan Z

Photo by: Nissan Motorsports

Nissan has yet to announce its driver line-ups for the 2022 season, but it will hold its annual driver shootout at Fuji on Monday to finalise its four crews.

While it will retain its winning combination of Matsuda and Quintarelli in the flagship NISMO car, and Katsumasa Chiyo and Kohei Hirate are likewise expected to stay at B-Max/NDDP, there could be a reshuffle at both Impul and Kondo Racing outfits.

After losing his Honda GT500 seat, Bertrand Baguette is likely to join Nissan's stable as Kazuki Hiramine's team-mate at Impul, with Nobuharu Matsushita rumoured to be moving in the opposite direction after just a single season at Nissan.

Kiyoto Fujinami, who won the 2020 GT300 title alongside Joao Paulo de Oliveira with Kondo Racing, could be promoted to the team's GT500 crew, replacing either Daiki Sasaki or Mitsunori Takaboshi.

Hiramine and Matsushita were Nissan's top contenders in the championship this year, finishing seventh out of 15 crews in the Impul GT-R with a victory - the team's first since 2016 - at Sugo. NISMO was the only other Nissan squad to claim a race win this year, at Suzuka.

While the Z will become Nissan's new GT500 contender next year, it will continue to use the GT-R NISMO GT3 in the GT300 division for the foreseeable future.

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