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.

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/nissan/gtr/21433/production-spec-nissan-gt-r50-by-italdesign-revealed
Nissan GT-R coupe

Production-spec Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign revealed

20 May 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/features/17660/the-best-four-cylinder-engines-ever-we-pick-our-favourites
Features

The best four-cylinder engines ever

We've gathered a selection of our very favourite four-pots ever produced
27 May 2020
Visit/bmw/4-series/201608/2020-bmw-4-series-revealed-new-coupe-range-topped-by-369bhp-m440i
BMW 4 Series

2020 BMW 4-series revealed – new coupe range topped by 369bhp M440i

The new 4-series Coupe is bigger, faster and sportier, but that’s not what people are talking about
2 Jun 2020
Visit/chevrolet/202690/c8-chevrolet-corvette-uk-prices-and-specifications-revealedchevrolets-new-mid
Chevrolet

C8 Chevrolet Corvette UK prices and specifications revealed

Chevrolet’s new mid-engined C8 Corvette is an American supercar for less
3 Jun 2020
Visit/used-cars/20402/cheap-fast-cars-2020-the-best-budget-performance-cars-on-the-market
used cars

Cheap fast cars 2020 – the best budget performance cars on the market

The cheap fast car is a wonderful thing, if you buy right and do your research. These are our favourites from £1000 to £10,000
4 Jun 2020