Published on May 8th, 2019 | by Subhash Nair0
Nissan GT-R Is Still Making Waves 12 Years After Launch
When Nissan first showed off the GT-R in 2007, few could deny its performance.
Its latest triumph came this week at the 2019 Jaguar Simola Hill Climb. It took 1st place in two categories: Modified Saloon and Supercar with drivers Franco Scribante and Reghard Roets setting great times in their cars.
For more on the GT-R’s performance at this South African motorsports event, check out the press release below.
Franco Scribante won the Modified Saloon category in his GT-R after he dominated both days of the competition and set a new unofficial record of 38.551 seconds during qualifying. He won the shootout with a final time of 39.342 seconds for the 1.9-kilometer track, making him the only contender to break the 40-second barrier in a production vehicle.
In the category for Road Cars and Supercars, Reghard Roets took the win with a final time of 44.094 seconds. With this win, Roets can claim a hat trick of wins in as many competitions.
The Nissan GT-R has won both production and modified classes outright for the last three years running and has won the King of the Hill title for seven of the 10 years that the competition has been held. It is also the most popular car the Modified Saloon class, where eight of the nine competitors who competed in this year’s competition chose to race in GT-Rs.
“The final day proved to be very tough, with several delays and a final run at dusk,” said said Janus Janse van Rensburg, chief marketing manager for Premium and Performance Cars for Nissan in South Africa. “Despite this, the Nissan competitors showed their mettle and beat contenders from Jaguar, Ferrari, Lamborghini and several other brands.”
In the Road Cars and Supercar class, Reghard Roets held his own throughout both days of the competition. He pushed the 2018 GT-R from Melrose Nissan hard and set a new personal best of 43.840 seconds during qualifying before winning with a time of 44.092, breaking his time of 44.892 set in 2018.
“On Saturday, the cool weather suited the turbocharged engine of the GT-R perfectly, and I could really push it harder than ever before,” said Roets. “We couldn’t quite match these times on Sunday, but the car remained faultless.”
In the Modified Saloon Car category, defending champion Wilhelm Baard had a tough day with very little time on the track. He managed to sort out a faulty sensor and raced hard to set a final time of 40.349 seconds for second place overall.
“This year, the number and range of Nissan GT-Rs – with power that ranged from 560 to 2,000 horsepower – showed the quality of engineering of this supercar,” said Janse van Rensburg. “It is no wonder that it’s the most popular supercar at Simola, and we look forward to seeing what it can do at the 2020 race.”
Several other GT-R drivers wowed the crowds on Sunday. Kyle Mitchell surprised everyone by setting a blistering final time of 40.862 seconds in the top 10 shootout. Another crowd pleaser was Martin van Zummeren, whose manic Nissan Skyline set a final time of 41.605 with an engine roar that echoed off the walls of the Simola Hill. His son, Wade van Zummeren, set a final time of 44.499 to secure his place in the top 10 in a 2002 Nissan Skyline with a GT-R VR38 engine and 1000 horsepower on his rear wheels.
In class B9 for unlimited SUVs and pickups, Terence Marsh took home his first every hill climb trophy. He won the class in a Nissan Navara, which was built to compete in the Dakar Rally.