NZ Performance Car - - Inside Line -

Nismo’s Global Team has taken victory at one of the world’s most gru­elling 12-hour races — the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour — in spec­tac­u­lar last-minute fash­ion, de­spite two of the three driv­ers, Wolf­gang Reip and Flo­rian Strauss, be­ing re­cent grad­u­ates of the GT Driv­ing Academy and there­fore con­sid­ered as rook­ies.

The team faced a busy night be­tween qual­i­fy­ing and race day as its top driver, Kat­sumasa Chiyo, spun on turn four and backed the GT-R into the wall hard when push­ing for pole, but an ear­lier lap qual­i­fied them in third. The race saw a mix­ture of ex­treme race pace and an un­prece­dented 20 safety cars, as a re­sult of which it ef­fec­tively came down to a two-lap sprint race af­ter a Porsche was cleared from the track with only four min­utes to go. Chiyo avenged his ear­lier ac­ci­dent by go­ing from third to first in the mat­ter of one lap, straight off the back of a safety car, and then didn’t look back as it all crum­bled for Matt Bell in the M-Sport Bent­ley, who went from first to fourth in that same time, to fin­ish just be­hind the sec­ond-placed Phoenix Rac­ing Audi R8 GT3 and the Craft Bamboo As­ton Martin, which placed third.

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