Nissan/NISMO enter the 2018 championship with an updated team and driver line-up with NDDP Racing with B-Max making its GT500 debut as a team and Japanese Formula 3 champion Mitsunori Takaboshi ready for his first full-season of GT500 competition.
The No. 23 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 of Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda begin their fifth season together as a pairing – the Italian and Japanese combination looking to score their third championship together.
“We’ve been teammates for so long. I think over time the relationship has improved for the better and we are on the best terms now,” Quintarelli said.
“We won the title in 2014 and 2015, and we were almost there in ‘16 and ‘17, so we know we can do it.
“Along with Tsugio, and the whole team, we’re going to work very hard to try and bring that win home.”
GT Academy ace Jann Mardenborough begins his second GT500 season with a new teammate – young Japanese star and two-time GT500 race winner Daiki Sasaki.
“I worked with Sasaki-san two years ago in Formula 3 as a teammate,” Mardenborough said.
“He’s really fast, and we’re both the same height, which is useful in driver changes.
“In testing so far, we’ve been very quick, both of us the same speed. I’m looking forward to the season.
“In the test, the feeling in the car was a lot better. I really enjoyed driving the car. It was fun for the first time since Thailand last year. We found some new settings, learning different tires, and it was good, I enjoyed it.”
Veteran Satoshi Motoyama and Katsumasa Chiyo begin their third season together this year but will drive for NDDP Racing with B-Max.
Takaboshi will join JP de Oliveira aboard the Forum Engineering No. 24 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500.
Saturday’s event was open to fans at the Nissan Gallery at global HQ with the 2018-spec GT500 and GT300 GT-Rs on stage with the drivers and team executives.
The opening round of the Super GT Championship will be held at Okayama on April 7-8.