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Godzilla marches back to the mountain

Monster: Nissan's legendary GT-R soon returns to Mt Panorama, but not as we know it.

Nissan GT-R coiled to strike at Bathurst 12-hour enduro next year

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Nissan logo18 Jul 2013

THE car that was booed and hissed out of Bathurst two-decades ago is poised to return in early 2014.

Nissan’s GT-R will return to Mount Panorama for the first time in 22 years when its global Nismo race team fields a GT3 racecar in February’s Bathurst 12-hour enduro.

It will be the first time a GT-R has competed here since 1992, when Nissan’s factory R32 racer completed its second consecutive Bathurst 1000 win piloted by Jim Richards and Mark Skaife.

The Japanese-based car will be driven by two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Rick Kelly, who currently steers a Nissan Altima in the regular V8 Supercars championship. Nissan says its decision to enter the 12-hour race reflects the event’s growing stature on the global stage.

“In selecting the Bathurst 12 Hour as a key part of our 2014 racing program, Nissan has further cemented Australasia as a critical element of our global motorsport plans,” says Nissan global motorsport director Darren Cox.

“Mount Panorama is one of the world’s iconic racing circuits and the Nissan GT-R has incredible history there. We are pleased to be at Bathurst with Nissan Motorsport in V8 Supercars this October, and then again with the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 next February for the Bathurst 12 Hour.” It will be Mr Kelly’s first start in the Bathurst enduro, something he chalks up to a lack of the “right opportunity”.

“I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity to race a Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 at the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour,” he said.

“It will be the first time I’ve driven something other than a V8 Supercar in a while.

“The GT-R is an amazing car in its standard form, so in Nismo GT3 race-specification, I think it will be capable of great things.

“Nismo has kept a very keen eye on our V8 Supercars program since we announced we were bringing Nissan back to the sport here in Australia. We’ve had strong and open dialogue with them and I think this is the start of what we can make happen in the future.

“The car will be capable of winning, and Nissan’s history at Bathurst is well documented, especially with the GT-R, aka ‘Godzilla’. We’ll be giving it our best shot.”

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