Nissan GT-R NISMO Sets Fastest Production Car Lap Record on Tsukuba Circuit

Automotive News 20 January 30, 2020 by

The 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO has set an all-time lap record at Tsukuba Circuit. Nissan’s new flagship version of the R35 set a blistering time of 59.3 seconds — not a bad way to celebrate its 13th birthday.

Tsukuba’s 1.2-mile (2km), 11-turn track should be a familiar name to all. It has featured prominently in every Gran Turismo since the fourth installment, including the PSP title. It was a part of the track roster in the first four Forza Motorsport titles, and also features in iRacing, among other sims.

Located in the Ibaraki Prefecture in Japan, you won’t find too many opportunities to keep your foot glued to the pedal on the small circuit. Instead, the venue places emphasis on technical laps. With Super GT driver Tsugio Matsuda behind the wheel, the GT-R darted around the track and set a new production car lap record in the process.

There isn’t much to say about the lap itself as it’s a stellar one. Matsuda kept the NISMO tamed at all times, with smooth, clean lines through every corner. It helps that the GT-R drives on all fours, but we’d expect nothing less from the two-time Super GT champion. The previous lap record looks to belong to a 991.2 generation Porsche 911 GT3, with a lap time of 59.8 seconds — talk about a close shave.

Nissan introduced the 2020 NISMO GT-R late last year with wide ranging revisions across the car. Power from the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 in the NISMO remains at 600hp, but changes to the turbocharger vanes improves engine response. New carbon fiber components — including the new roof — account for 22lb (10kg) of weight reductions from the 45lb (20kg) total of Nissan’s NISMO diet. Louvered front wheel arches help improve front-end downforce by reducing high pressure areas in the wheel well, with impacting the car’s 0.26 drag coefficient.

Another key factor in the lap time are the new Dunlop tires, wrapped around 20″ RAYS forged aluminum wheels, which increase grip by 7% over the outgoing model. Although the wheels only account for 4 ounces (100g) between them of the car’s weight loss, it’s as they say: every little counts.

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