Watch – Le Mans racer Al Buncombe drives iconic GT500 Nissan GT-R at Fuji

Ride on-board with Nismo Athlete Alex Buncombe as he navigates Fuji Speedway in an iconic Nissan racer

If you grew up during the Playstation era of videogames, you’ll already be familiar with this car. You’ll know its black and yellow colour scheme, you’ll know the sound, and you’ll be more than accustomed to the circuit.

The Gran Turismo videogame series has long included Japan’s GT500 racing cars in its vehicle lineup. and the Pennzoil Nismo Skyline GT-R is a stalwart of that selection.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

The GT500 class opened in 1996, still under the JGTC banner rather than the modern Super GT series, and Skyline GT-Rs were a familiar sight from that point until its racing replacement in 2004.

In Pennzoil livery, the R33-generation car took its first championship victory with Erik Comas and Masami Kageyama at the wheel in 1998, a feat replicated by the R34 Skyline GT-R, again with Comas in the driver’s seat, in 1999.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

It’s that car you see here, driven by one of Nissan’s current stars, Alex Buncombe. Buncombe isn’t quite as closely linked with the Gran Turismo series as some of his teammates, having started racing before the GT Academy opened its doors, but his long relationship with Nissan makes him the perfect driver to put the GT500 car through its paces.

Fuji Speedway is also a fitting circuit; the R34 won in three quarters of its outings at the famous track. Its long straight also provides the perfect opportunity for Buncombe to stretch the Skyline’s legs.

While its inline-six was based on that of the road car, its 495bhp output was significantly greater, and the R34’s sophisticated all-wheel drive system made way for a race-ready rear-wheel drive setup.

GT500 regulations might have changed since, but the series remains as competitive as ever – and with Nissan still fielding GT-Rs, perhaps the Pennzoil livery will also reappear one day.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/land-rover/discovery-sport/201862/2019-land-rover-discovery-sport-d180-se-review
Land Rover Discovery Sport

2019 Land Rover Discovery Sport D180 SE review

18 Oct 2019
Visit/volkswagen/201859/volkswagen-t-roc-r-review-ever-wish-the-golf-r-was-a-little-bit-taller
Volkswagen T-Roc

Volkswagen T-Roc R review - ever wish the Golf R was a little bit taller?

17 Oct 2019
Visit/toyota/yaris/201858/all-new-toyota-yaris-revealed-and-hot-gazoo-models-arent-far-behind
Toyota Yaris

All-new Toyota Yaris revealed – and hot Gazoo models aren’t far behind

17 Oct 2019
Visit/hyundai/201854/updated-2020-hyundai-i30-n-spied-before-reveal-early-next-year
Hyundai i30 N

Updated 2020 Hyundai i30 N spied before reveal early next year

16 Oct 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/aston-martin/vanquish/201856/2019-aston-martin-vanquish-zagato-shooting-brake-review
Aston Martin Vanquish

2019 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake review 

Extrovert, extravagant and extraordinary to drive, this might just be the world’s ultimate estate car 
16 Oct 2019
Visit/porsche/macan/201846/2020-porsche-macan-turbo-review-still-the-class-leader
Porsche Macan

Porsche Macan Turbo review

All the usual Macan virtues, but no longer the best performance SUV to drive
16 Oct 2019
Visit/hatchback/201852/bmw-2-series-gran-coupe-ready-to-take-on-mercedes-benz-cla
hatchback

BMW 2-series Gran Coupe ready to take on Mercedes-Benz CLA

All-new front-wheel-drive 1-series spawns its first derivative: the 2-series Gran Coupe
16 Oct 2019
Visit/features/22773/goodyear-eagle-f1-supersport-chosen-by-those-in-the-know-advertisement-feature
Advertisement Feature

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport - chosen by those in the know

The perfect choice for those looking to extract every last drop of performance, we run down Goodyear's Eagle F1 SuperSport range
12 Jun 2019