We have been anxious to make this announcement for a few months now, and finally here it is!
The AF 350Z Project had in its initial plans participation in the SCCA Speed World Challenge GT Class, and everything was progressing by the schedule. However, back in December of 2004, we spotted and quickly acquired a 2001 Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 N1 Super Taikyu Race Car (Visit the Gallery of the Car). It has an extensive winning history, which comes from its technology and quality - as the car was built by Nissan Motorsports International (NISMO) in Japan. In 2001, our car, then #23, ran by Totomu Fujitsubo racing team, missed overall series championship by 1 mere point to the Falken GT-R (Visit the Gallery of the #23 (pronounced Ni-San in Japanese) Fujitsubo GT-R)
We like to see this as a continuation of the AF 350Z Project in spirit, as we are remaining loyal to Nissan and our fans around the world.
The reason for such drastic change in plans?
As incredible as the 350Z would have been as a race car, we do not believe that it could have ever matched the performance of this factory-built GT-R endurance race car. Of course anything is possible with money, but injecting that much capital into the 350Z would have been simply inappropriate and irresponsible, considering an opportunity of acquiring this GT-R arose.
Why SCCA Speed World Challenge?
We believe that this series provides incredible excitement for the audience, featuring amazing and diverse race cars. The series consists of 10 50-minute sprint races around the best tracks in the nation. Our competition will include Dodge Viper Competition Coupe, Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Saleen Cobra, Pontiac GTO, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Porshce 911 Turbo, Cadillac CTS-V, Audi RS6, and Volvo S60R.
The Nissan Skyline GT-R has NEVER competed in a full season of professional road racing series in North America!
AutomotiveForums.com will be the first to pass this milestone, with many future opportunities arising with the next-generation R35 (or R36) Nissan Skyline GT-R introduction in 2007.
The GT-R has an incredible racing history - some of its accomplishements include:
In Group A racing series, the GT-R won every single race, winning 29 races in 4 years of the series' life.
In JGTC, the R32 GT-R dominated the series until the regulations were modified prohibiting all-wheel-drive systems (when the GT-R was the only 4wd competitior in the series), forcing NISMO to convert the JGTC GT-R race cars to rear-wheel-drive only. Even then, the GT-R continued to collect victories, with the last one being the overall series champion in JGTC GT500 2004 - the last year of its competition. In the same year, in GT300, the 350Z took home the victory, showing just how dedicated Nissan is to racing in Japan. The GT-R and the Z have always been and always will be sister cars, especially with the next GT-R featuring a VQ engine.
The uniqueness of the present situation cannot be overstated - this is the opportunity for the GT-R to shine in a series where not a single Japanese vehicle has succeeded and the manufacturers (namely Cadillac, Audi, and Volvo) dump countless millions of dollars into the development of their race program.
We made the public debut at the Hot Import Nights in Los Angeles, California, on March 5th. There is a large gap between the automotive enthusiast culture and the racing world, and one of our goals in this motorsport endeavor is to close this gap by the intoroduction of the Skyline GT-R, an icon and a legend, in racing, where it will shine more than at any car show. (View Pictures of the GT-R N1 stealing the show at Hot Import Nights)
We will need your support every step of the way. Please spread the word about our plans at your local car club meets, your friends in general, and where ever else you feel appropriate.
We are currently throwing around some ideas of an official AutomotiveForums.com Event that would feature this car and provide some of the members rides on a race track.
As with the 350Z Project, we will soon launch a website dedicated to the coverage of this motorsports effort, ensuring that the AF members are always informed and the first to know of any developments.
Dan Gardner Gardner Automotive Communications 310-489-3094
Automotive Network to Embark Upon World-Class Racing Effort 500 Horsepower 2001 Nissan Skyline GT-R N1 to Make Speed World Challenge Debut
GEORGETOWN, Kentucky - Automotive Network, Inc. (ANI) today announced plans to enter an extremely rare Nissan Skyline GT-R in SCCA's Speed World Challenge series. Built by Nissan Motorsports Japan, and formerly raced by a championship-winning Japanese race team in the Super Taikyu series, the car boasts:
An inline six cylinder 2.6-liter twin-turbo engine producing 500 horsepower
Mono-block Brembo brakes
ATTESA E-TS Pro 4 wheel drive system
Volk TE-37 Racing Wheels 18x9.5
ARC oil cooler
The extremely rare, one-of-a-kind car has already taken home the following victories:
2001 CP Mine 500 km endurance race
2001 Suzuka 300 mile endurance race
2001 Fuji 4-hour endurance race
2003 Suzuka 1000 km endurance race
The car will be extensively tested during 2005 in preparation for the 2006 race season. This introduction marks the first-ever entry of a Skyline GT-R racecar in a road-racing series on this side of the globe.
Automotive Network, Inc./ Company to Enter First-Ever Skyline GT-R 2-2-2-2
"The entry of this extremely special car in the Speed World Challenge series will help leverage what Automotive Network accomplishes online, and help us make a non-Internet world connection," said Igor Sushko, founder and president. "We're excited at the potential that such a car competing for the first time ever in this series brings."
Automotive Network, Inc is the leader in connecting the auto enthusiasts via the Internet. ANI operates AutomotiveForums.com, which was launched in November of 2000. The site has seen tremendous growth since then. Currently, more than 308,000 members enjoy AutomotiveForums, with 500 new users signing up daily.