Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 (Godzilla) has claimed victory in a safety car choked 2015 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour that saw the race decided on the final lap.

CLAIMING AMATEUR status, the NISMO Athlete Global team (made up to GT Academy winners) has won its first victory in two years of racing after winning a tense end to the 2015 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour by 2.4 seconds.

Japanese racer Katumasa Chiyo piloted the GT-R from third position to first on the final lap after the 20th Safety Car period. The victory for Chiyo and GT Academy winners Wolfgang Reip and Florian Strauss is the first time that the Nissan GT-R has won at Mount Panorama since the GT-R took back-to-back Bathurst 1000 wins in 1991 and 1992.

Katsumasa Chiyo said: “It is just unbelievable because I couldn’t imagine that end of the race, with a strong Audi and Bentley and we are still in the amateur class … I had a chance in the final restart. It was just awesome. The car was amazing, and so was the team.”

Wolfgang Reip said: “Yes it was very stressful (watching the final laps), I couldn’t keep calm. It is incredible, our first win for the last two years we have been racing, so really a lot of emotions … the last 10 minutes were incredible. The car was very good here. It is definitely a track that suits us. It was a good race.”

Strauss too was excited by the victory as he’d only been called up to the team in the weeks before the race after team member Alex Buncombe pulled out to attend the birth of his first child. Strauss has only been a racing driver for 18 months following his win in GT Academy in 2013.

Florian Strauss said: “It is just awesome, still unbelievable. I am very lucky that we have won. The team did an amazing job all weekend. Chiyo put the car in first place. The team put all the effort in to get the car ready in the morning. The car gave me a lot of confidence. I got up to speed quite well I guess, not too far away from my teammates. My stint was amazing, a bit long and a lot of safety cars. Disappointingly, half way from the end of the race we were in third place, but Chiyo put the hammer down at the end and we achieved a good result, and it’s awesome for Nissan.”

Beyond first place, second, third and fourth were equally notable with the Craft-Bamboo Racing Aston Martin and the Vanthoor Audi R8 slip past the Bentley Continental GT3, which had been leading the final lap, on the last corner. The Erebus Motorsport SLS AMG GT3 finished fifth.


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