Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 To Make Australian GT Championship Debut

2017 Nissan GT-R Track Edition. Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Victoria, Australia. World Copyright: NISSAN Ref: Digital Image DSC_1552.NEF

Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 To Make Australian GT Championship Debut

  • Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 to make Australian GT Championship debut at New Zealand-based rounds at Hampton Downs and Highlands Park
  • 2015 GT Academy International winner Matt Simmons and Nissan NISMO Supercars Championship driver Michael Caruso confirmed as driver line-up
  • Celebrates 25 years since race winning 1991 NZ campaign by Nissan GT-R R32

PHILLIP ISLAND, Australia (1 September 2016) – The Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 will make its Australian GT Championship debut in the final two events of the 2016 season, both based in New Zealand.

The two events, held at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park and Highlands Motorsport Park, follow a win and a second place for the GT-R in the last two Bathurst 12 Hour events.

Nissan Motorsport Supercars Championship driver Michael Caruso will lead the driver line-up for the two events. It will be Caruso’s debut in the Australian GT Championship and his first race aboard a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.

Caruso will drive with 2015 Nissan PlayStation GT Academy International winner Matt Simmons, who has spent 2016 racing a GT-R NISMO GT3 in the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup in Europe.

The driver line-up will give Nissan a strong chance of success, while keeping with the Australian GT Championship’s ‘Pro-Am’ philosophy – Caruso as the ‘Professional’ (FIA Gold Driver Ranking) and Simmons as the ‘Amateur’ (FIA Bronze Driver Ranking).

The #35 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 will be entered as ‘Nissan GT Academy Team Kelly’ and run by the Kelly family-owned Nissan Motorsport race team.

The entry will also celebrate 25 years since Nissan entered the Nissan GT-R R32 in events at Pukekohe and Wellington after winning both the Australian Touring Car Championship and Bathurst 1000 in 1991.

The 1991 campaign, which also saw Nissan as the naming-rights sponsor for both events, capped a successful season for the GT-R. Jim Richards and Mark Skaife took victory at the Pukekohe 500 one week after coming home in third place in the Wellington 500 , nursing the GT-R home with front differential issues.


Richard Emery – Managing Director and CEO, Nissan Motor Co. (Australia):
“It’s great to confirm that the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 will be making its Australian GT Championship debut,” said Nissan Motor Co. (Australia) Managing Director and CEO Richard Emery.
“Australians have seen the GT-R in action at the Bathurst 12 Hour for the past three years. It’s exciting that New Zealand motorsport fans will now have a chance to watch this spectacular car in action.
“Back in 1991 the Nissan GT-R R32 claimed a win and a third place in its two races across the Tasman, setting a high benchmark for this 2016 effort.”

John Manley – Managing Director, Nissan New Zealand:
“We are excited to be collaborating with our Australian colleagues to bring the mighty Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 to New Zealand,” said Nissan New Zealand Managing Director John Manley.
“Kiwi motorsport fans will be able to cheer for Nissan on three consecutive weekends, with these two Australian GT Championship rounds coming either side of the Pukekohe Supercars event.
“The GT-R NISMO GT3 has wins at iconic races such as the Bathurst 12 Hour, Suzuka 1000 and Paul Ricard 1000. It would be great to add New Zealand accolades to that list 25 years after the last trans-Tasman effort from the GT-R.”

Michael Caruso – Driver, #35 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3:
“I’m very excited and grateful to be getting my first opportunity to race the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3,” said Michael Caruso.
“I am a lifelong GT-R fan and I’ve had the chance to test the car a couple of times now. So it will be great to race it at these two New Zealand events alongside our Aussie GT Academy winner Matt Simmons, who has been racing one of these cars this year in Europe.”

Matt Simmons – Driver, #35 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3:
“I can’t think of a better way to cap off my first year of racing than to compete in my home GT Championship – albeit on the other side of the Tasman over in New Zealand,” said Matt Simmons.
“Racing alongside Michael will be a buzz. A little over 12 months ago I was cheering him on in Supercars, now I’m his team-mate in a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.”

Event Dates

28-30 October 2016
Round 3 – Australian GT Endurance Championship
Hampton Downs Motorsport Park
Auckland, New Zealand
Race Format: Endurance

11-12 November 2016
Round 6 – Australian GT Championship
Highlands Motorsport Park
Queenstown, New Zealand
Race Format: x2 60 minute races

13 November 2016
Round 4 – Australian GT Endurance Championship
Highlands Motorsport Park
Queenstown, New Zealand
Race Format: Endurance

About Nissan Motor Co.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 244,500 employees globally, Nissan sold 5.32 million vehicles and generated revenue of 11.38 trillion yen (USD 103.6 billion) in fiscal 2014. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. Nissan leads the world in zero-emission mobility, dominated by sales of the LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle. It is the best-selling EV in history with almost 50% share of the zero-emission vehicle segment.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at


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