Nissan turns back on international GT3 racing
Nissan has not renewed its relationship with customer team KCMG, all but ending the manufacturer's involvement in international GT3 racing.
Hong Kong-based outfit KCMG, which represented Nissan in the Intercontinental GT Challenge last season, was absent from Nissan's global motorsport programme unveiling at the marque's Yokohama headquarters on Sunday.
It follows KCMG's announcement made last December that it is planning to race in this year's Nurburgring 24 Hours and selected rounds of the NSL (previously known as the VLN) with a pair of factory-supported Porsche 911 GT3 Rs.
The team's outing at Bathurst two weeks ago looks like it will be the team's last with its pair of GT-R NISMO GT3s for the foreseeable future, with Nissan the only 2019 IGTC manufacturer not signing up to contest the full campaign in 2020.
It also means that Nissan's GT3 racer is unlikely to race outside of the Japanese domestic scene at all in 2020, except for an appearance at the Nurburgring with Kondo Racing.
The regular SUPER GT squad is tackling the famous German enduro for a second year, with Nissan GT500 regulars Tsugio Matsuda, Mitsunori Takaboshi, Kazuki Hiramine and Joao Paulo de Oliveira set to share driving duties.
De Oliveira was also part of KCMG's line-up for its Nissan swansong at Bathurst along with fellow SUPER GT racers Matsuda and Katsumasa Chiyo.
KCMG has already announced drivers for its Nurburgring assault this year.
One of its Porsches will be driven by a quartet of the German marque's factory aces: Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet, Richard Lietz and Frederic Makowiecki, the race-winning line-up from 2018.
Five-time Nurburgring winner Romain Dumas will join Alexandre Imperatori, Josh Burdon and Edoardo Liberati, all part of KCMG's IGTC line-up last year, in the sister car.
While Nissan will not have any formal representation in the remaining IGTC races of 2020, the GT-R NISMO GT3 could still be fielded by local teams at the Suzuka 10 Hours in August.
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Kondo Racing doesn’t believe the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 would be competitive if it were to return to the Nurburgring 24 Hours next year.