Flying Godzilla ready to go ape
GODZILLA is stepping back into the ’Ring for yet another championship shootout with the best of the heavyweight production-car contenders.
With the verbal slanging match between Nissan and Porsche over and the Japanese carmaker’s claim of a sizzling 7min 29sec lap of the famous Nurburgring still echoing, Nissan is about to reignite the flame.
Nissan’s chief GT-R test driver Toshio Suzuki confirmed this week he is going back to the Nurburgring next month, confident of clocking an even faster time for the 20km circuit.
‘‘Four or five seconds ( faster) . . . I think that will be very possible,’’ says Suzuki, at Eastern Creek in Sydney to help launch the GT-R in Australia.
‘‘If the conditions are good and everything works as it should, there is no reason it would not be possible to go that fast.’’
The suggestion that a production-fettled GT-R could lower the benchmark time even further is certain to throw fuel on the claims from Porsche that the full story is not being told.
At the time of the original 7:29 claim last April, Porsche was quick to question the result and raise doubts about how it was achieved.
The GT-R lap created a stir with Porsche because it significantly bettered the German carmaker’s own best time with its 911 Turbo.
Porsche even went out and bought its own GT-R and freighted it from Japan to the Nurburgring for back-toback testing against the 911 Turbo and GT2, and could not get it to within 25 seconds of the claimed lap record for the GT-R.
The Germany performance meisters claimed the only way the GT-R could have lapped the Nurburgring in that time was by using special tyres closer to racing slicks than regular road rubber — an allegation Nissan denied.
Suzuki, a former grand prix driver, says updates to the GT-R’s engine and suspension will be enough to bring the new lap target within reach.
‘‘The little bit extra power (3kW) and improved engine sharpness, together with improved spring and damper settings, make the faster time possible,’’ Suzuki says.
‘‘Then it is also important what happens on the day.’’
The fastest road-car lap around the 73-turn track is 6min 55sec in a Radical sports car.
The official fastest lap is 6min 11sec, set by a Porsche 956 Le Mans racer in 1983.
Hard and fast: a Nissan GT-R in action at Nurburgring, where it will try to reset the record.