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

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

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.

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.

Recommended

Production-spec Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign revealed
Nissan GT-R coupe

Production-spec Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign revealed

20 May 2020

Most Popular

Hyundai i20 N revealed – 200bhp supermini ready for some Ford Fiesta ST baiting
Hyundai i20 hatchback

Hyundai i20 N revealed – 200bhp supermini ready for some Ford Fiesta ST baiting

Long-awaited second N division model set to shake up the junior hot hatch establishment
20 Oct 2020
£153,000 ​Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA enters final stages of development
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

£153,000 ​Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA enters final stages of development

Alfa Romeo has put its F1 drivers behind the wheel of the Giulia GTA and GTAm ahead of production in 2021
20 Oct 2020
SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car
News

SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car

Over a decade after SSC last entered the record books, its Tuatara has claimed the title of world’s fastest production car
19 Oct 2020
Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 test mule fires up on video for first time
News

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 test mule fires up on video for first time

A development car for Gordon Murray’s T.50 supercar has been shown firing up on video
19 Oct 2020