Nissan unhappy with GT300 BoP relative to Subaru
Nissan has expressed its unhappiness with the Balance of Performance in SUPER GT’s GT300 class after Subaru took half of the available poles for a second season running.
The works R&D Sport Subaru BRZ, built to GTA-GT300 rules, took four pole positions and started from the front row six times out of eight during Takuto Iguchi and Hideki Yamauchi’s title-winning 2021 season.
Despite BoP adjustments being made in a bid to slow down the GTA-GT300 cars relative to their FIA GT3 rivals last year, Iguchi and Yamauchi enjoyed similar success in qualifying.
The pair scored pole positions at Okayama, Fuji Round 2, Sugo and Autopolis, while also qualifying second for Fuji Round 4. At Suzuka Round 3, turbo trouble in Q2 restricted them to 15th, but they topped Q1 and could have feasibly scored pole there too.
By contrast, the title-winning Kondo Racing Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 of Joao Paulo de Oliveira and Kiyoto Fujinami never qualified on pole, taking a highest grid slot of third at Suzuka Round 3, and an average grid slot of 7.4 across the year.
The only time a Nissan qualified on pole all season was at Suzuka Round 5, where the #10 Gainer GT-R shared by Riki Okusa and Ryuichiro Tomita took top spot, although the same car was fastest at Suzuka Round 3, only to be disqualified for a technical infraction.
Although Nissan entries locked out the top positions in the final standings, helped by a difficult final race for Subaru at Motegi, NISMO COO Motohiro Matsumura believes that further adjustments to the BoP are needed for 2023 to make qualifying more fair.
“Comparing the performance in qualifying with the #61 car [Subaru], it seems that our race results with the GT-R are good but our qualifying is quite slow,” said Matsumura. “So I hope they fairly adjust the BoP.
“For our general customers [Tomei Sports, NILZZ], it’s quite difficult to challenge in the race. So I want them [the GTA] to check the qualifying. The race itself can be affected by strategy, pitwork, drivers’ skill… but qualifying is just pure performance.”
Nissan’s GT3 programme is currently limited to SUPER GT’s GT300 class and the Super Taikyu series, with no examples of the GT-R racing in any other major worldwide championships running to GT3 rules.
Acknowledging that having cars running abroad could be a help when it comes to formulating the BoP, Matsumura said he hopes this situation changes for future seasons.
“I want to consider using the GT-R GT3 in foreign countries,” said Matsumura. “But at this moment it’s not so easy, as we had the COVID-19 situation.
“At the moment, this is just my desire. But if there is a foreign customer who is interested in utilising the GT-R, there can be some connection to future improvements and evolutions.”
The current version of the GT-R NISMO GT3 entered competition in 2018, receiving a small update in 2020, and is homologated through the 2028 season.
Matsumura said Nissan currently has no plans to introduce an all-new GT3 model.
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