Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

Nissan GT-R in Bathurst in 2017

A factory-introduced Nissan GT-R GT3, which finished second in the 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour, is driving again in next year’s Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS.

Brett Hobson has purchased the GT-R, which was lined up by the factory team at back-to-back Bathurst 12 Hour events as it was driven by Rick Kelly, Todd Kelly, Katsumasa Chiyo, Florian Strauss and Jann Mardenborough.

It should also have run at the end of the season Australian Endurance Championship events in New Zealand in 2016, but never took the start in any of the races after a training crash.

A further boost in training for the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour followed, but the car continued to finish the event in eighth place.

It was then the subject of considerable work, including a re-shell of NISMO, but ironically, it has not run since.

That will change now that Hobson has acquired it from Nissan Australia.

“The car itself is basically brand new,” he explained.

“The skull itself has actually never run.”

Hobson actually already owned a GT-R when he was an older car picked up from the US, which he took to direct victory in race 1 of round 3 of this year’s GT World Challenge Australia Championship in The Bend in May.

The arrival of the newer car at the Garth Walden Racing workshop in Sydney last week came after talks with Nissan Australia began six months ago.

The car at Garth Walden Racing’s workshop in Sydney

“Ever since we showed what we are capable of in the GT World Challenge Australia, and in the last few months I have been asking what Nissan did with it and finally got a good answer, so we acquired the car last week”, explained Hobson.

“We are now looking forward to getting on the field next year.”

Both GT-Rs will be on Mount Panorama next month, with Hobson using Challenge Bathurst as a test run.

“In the next few weeks, we’ll give it a shakedown and see how it does,” he noted.

“We switch back to the old car for the last lap, we still end the year off in ‘old faithful’ and we leave.

“We will hopefully get started next year with the new girl and have some fun.”

The older GT-R has had its own ‘birthday’ in recent months and was back on track last week.

Hobson and his wife Laura shared driving tasks in a shakedown in Sydney Motorsport Park, where the latter had to compete with it in state competition.

The sprint component of Challenge Bathurst takes place on 4-5. November, while the fourth and final round of the GT World Challenge Australia for 2021 supports the Repco Bathurst 1000 from 30 November.

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