Having already trained more than 10,000 young mechanics, Nissan and Kondo Racing will expand their partnership by competing in Germany’s Nurburgring 24 Hour and Japan’s Super GT series from next year.
Kondo Racing, a customer team led by Japanese actor and singer Masahiko Kondo, will participate in the Nurburgring endurance race from 2019 with a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 model, marking the team’s first overseas competition with the GT-R since the team was founded in 2000.
Nissan will dispatch selected technical staff from NISMO Performance Center-certified dealerships to support the Kondo Racing team as mechanics for the 2019-2021 seasons.
Kondo Racing will also compete together with the Nissan Automobile Technical College (NAMTC), which trains future mechanics for Nissan dealerships, in the Super GT series from 2019. They will race in the series’ GT300 class, Japan’s top touring car category, also with a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.
NAMTC and Kondo Racing have competed together in Japan’s Super Taikyu endurance series since 2012, winning the series title in 2016.
The partnership’s goal is to discover and develop young talent to become skilled mechanics at Nissan dealerships. More than 10,000 students have participated in the program over seven seasons.
By stepping up to the more advanced Super GT series, NAMTC and Kondo Racing aim to further strengthen the training program, which will extend beyond NAMTC students to also incorporate technical staff from Nissan dealers across Japan.
Both activities will be supported by NISMO, Nissan’s racing arm, as part of the GT3 Customer Racing program.
“Nissan and Kondo Racing have worked together since 2012 to train students and boost interest in the dealer mechanic profession,” said Asako Hoshino, Nissan’s senior vice president in charge of Japan operations.
“By letting students and technical staff take on new challenges at Nurburgring and in Super GT, we hope to increase their motivation and develop young talent that can enhance the service at our dealerships, keeping our customers’ cars safe and roadworthy.”
Said Kondo, “We’ve worked with more than 10,000 Nissan College students as we’ve competed in Super Taikyu since 2012. The students have learned about competing, as well as the responsibility of mechanics to protect the lives of drivers. As we step up to the Super GT series, we hope to keep contributing to the auto industry by training young people who love cars.”
Kondo Racing’s Nurburgring 24 Hour driver line-up will include Tsugio Matsuda, Mitsunori Takaboshi, Tomonobu Fujii and Tom Coronel.