Super Gt Tests Begin In Japan, Remarkable 41 Nissan - Powered Prototypes Set For Fia Wec And Elms

SUPER GT tests begin in Japan, and a remarkable 41 Nissan-powered prototypes set for FIA WEC and ELMSNissan and NISMO took the first steps in defending their Super GT GT500 and GT300 class championships on home soil in Japan with the first pre-season test last week.

Forty-two cars gathered at the Okayama International Circuit in Mimasaka, Japan for the official pre-season test including four Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 and four Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 machines.

Formerly the home of the Pacific Formula 1 Grand Prix in 1994 and 1995, the 3.703 km (2.300 mi) circuit will host the opening round of this year's Super GT championship.

The two-day test marked the official GT500 debut for Blancpain Endurance Series champion Katsumasa Chiyo, who will team with NISMO legend Satoshi Motoyama in the No.46 S Road CRAFTSPORTS GT-R.

Former GT Academy champion Jann Mardenborough also continued his testing program on board the No.3 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 alongside Kazuki Hoshino.

New team colors for the No.24 Forum Engineering ADVAN GT-R GT500 were also seen in action for the first time with Daiki Sasaki and Masataka Yanagida at the wheel.

The No.12 Calsonic IMPUL GT-R of Hironobu Yasuda / João Paulo de Oliveira was fastest for Nissan on the opening day of the test, as all four GT-R entries were in the top 10 in times with the sixth, seventh, eighth and 10th fastest times.

The Japanese/Brazilian combo was also quick on day two in the No.12 entry to record the third fastest time with reigning GT500 champions Tsugio Matsuda / Ronnie Quintarelli in seventh place for the second consecutive day.

Mardenborough and Hoshino were fifth fastest in GT300 amongst a 27-car field on day one and sixth on day two.

Super GT testing continues next week at Fuji Speedway in preparation for the opening round at Okayama on April 9 to 10.

A remarkable 41 Nissan-powered prototypes set for FIA WEC and ELMS

Pre-season tests for both the FIA World Endurance Championship and the European Le Mans Series is being held at Circuit Paul Ricard in France this week with a remarkable 41 Nissan-powered prototypes on track.

Between the two championships, a total of 71 cars will be on track this week with Nissan powering an incredible 57 percent of the entries.

The ELMS will conduct a two-day test on March 22 and 23 with 10 LM P2 Nissan-powered entries amongst the 13 entries.

After its successful debut last year, the LM P3 class has rapidly expanded for 2016 with 20 Nissan-powered entries confirmed to test this week.

British Olympic cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy won last year's inaugural LM P3 championship teamed with Charlie Robertson.

Hoy will be present at the ELMS test this week driving with Algarve Pro Racing alongside Renault development driver Andrea Pizzitola.

The test continues Hoy's journey to Le Mans, familiarizing himself further with an LM P2 car following his previous outings with Greaves Motorsport.

2015 ELMS champions Greaves will debut their new Ligier JS P2 chassis this week with new drivers, four-time Grand-Am Rolex Series champion Memo Rojas and last year's FIA World Endurance Championship LM P2 co-champion Julien Canal.

The FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue will take over the Paul Ricard circuit on March 25/26.

After powering the past three FIA WEC LM P2 champions, Nissan again dominates the class again in 2016 with all 10 cars entered for this week's prologue powered by the Nissan VK45DE V8 engine.

Joining the Nissan family for the first time at the test will be U.S.-team Extreme Speed Motorsports, which switches to the NISMO-developed power plant after winning both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and last weekend's 12 Hours of Sebring with Honda.

NISMO Calendar

March 22-23:
European Le Mans Series Official Test, Circuit Paul Ricard, France

March 25-26:
FIA WEC Prologue, Circuit Paul Ricard, France

April 2-3:
V8 Supercars, Symmons Plains, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

April 9-10:
Super GT, Okayama, Japan
Blancpain GT Sprint, Misano, Italy

April 16-17:
FIA WEC, Silverstone, England
ELMS, Silverstone, England
V8 Supercar, Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia
Pirelli World Challenge, Long Beach, California, USA