Super GT

Nissan Z NISMO GT500 scores 1-2 finish at Fuji

May 8, 2024

5 min Reading

#3 Z secures runaway victory while #23 Z cliches 2nd place

The Nissan/NISMO team secured their first GT500 class victory of the 2024 Super GT Series season at Fuji International Speedway on May 4. The race, now a fixture of the spring holiday period, drew a crowd of 88,400 fans and was the first-ever three-hour Super GT event.


The Nissan/NISMO teams, operating with a new executive director and new driver line-up for the 2024 season, headed into the weekend with the aim of securing consecutive wins at Fuji, following their victory at the circuit in the fourth round of last year’s season.


In this, the second race of the season, the Nissan Z NISMO GT500 teams fielded four cars: the #3 Niterra Motul Z (Mitsunori Takaboshi/Atsushi Miyake), the #12 Marelli Impul Z (Kazuki Hiramine/Bertrand Baguette), the #23 Motul Autech Z (Katsumasa Chiyo/Ronnie Quintarelli), and #24 Realize Corporation Advan Z (Tsugio Matsuda/Teppei Natori).


In accordance with the results of the opening round, success weights were added to the #23 Z (12kg) and #3 Z (10kg), while the #12 Z and #24 Z raced with no success weights.


The weekend yielded a dream finish for Nissan Z NISMO GT500 teams with #3 Z driven by Mitsunori Takaboshi and Atsushi Miyake, securing a runaway victory and the #23 Z of Katsumasa Chiyo and Ronnie Quintarelli taking home 2nd place.

Detailed race report:


Summer-like sunlight poured down onto Fuji International Speedway, with the track temperature - 2 - reaching 41°C as the race got underway. The event commenced with two formation laps, followed by a three-hour race. Starting from 2nd position, Takaboshi in the #3 Z swiftly moved alongside the leader at the first corner of the first lap, then successfully executed an overtake at the second corner to take an early lead. Starting in 3rd position, Chiyo in the #23 Z pushed forward towards the leaders, while Baguette in the #12 Z started in 5th position, and held that position as the laps unfolded.


The #23 Z, closed in on 2nd place as the race progressed, and after executing a decisive overtake on lap 23, moved up to 2nd, putting Nissan Z NISMO GT500 cars in the top two spots. By lap 30, the teams began making their first pit stops. The #12 Z was the first among the Z cars, making a pit stop at the end of lap 31 for a tire change and refuel without a driver change. The #23 Z, in 2nd, made a pit stop at the end of lap 38, with Chiyo handing over driving duties to Quintarelli. The leading #3 Z pitted at the end of lap 40, continuing with Takaboshi as the driver until midway through the race. On lap 41, after all GT500 class cars had completed their first pit stops, the #3 Z remained in the lead, the #23 Z held 3rd place, and #12 Z was in 5th.


With Takaboshi at the wheel, the #3 Z gradually widened its lead on the competition, establishing a lead of more than 25 seconds over the 2nd place car by the end of lap 75, at which point the #3 Z made its second pit stop. Miyake then took over driving duties, aiming for the checkered flag with about one hour left in the race. The #12 Z, in 5th position, pitted for a second time at the end of lap 73. The #23 Z, which temporarily found itself in 2nd after the leading cars pitted, made a second pit stop at the end of lap 77. The #12 Z and #23 Z both underwent driver changes during their second pit stops with Hiramine taking the #12 Z’s wheel once again, and Chiyo returning to the #23 Z through to the finish. On lap 80, after all cars in the GT500 class had completed their second pit stops, the #3 Z continued to lead the race, maintaining a solo lead with more than 36 seconds between it and 2nd place. Meanwhile, the #23 Z, despite being closely followed, managed to maintain its position in 2nd. The #12 Z was caught up in a tight battle and approached the final stages of the race in 6th.


The #3 Z carefully avoided any incidents while maintaining a quick pace to finish in 1st place on lap 117 at the end of the third hour, continuing its winning streak at Fuji and securing the first Nissan Z NISMO GT500 victory of the season.


The #23 Z maintained a steady pace towards the race’s end and widened the gap between itself and its pursuers, finishing comfortably in 2nd and locking in a 1-2 finish for the Nissan Z teams. The #12 Z managed 6th and the #24 Z finished the race in 13th place.


Taking on the second race of the season with a new executive director and new driver line-up, the Nissan/NISMO teams achieved an outstanding 1-2 finish. Round three will be held at Suzuka Circuit, where the teams have previously achieved favorable results, and will be aiming to extend the Nissan Z NISMO GT500 winning streak.

Mitsunori Takaboshi (#3 Niterra Motul Z) “I’m honestly pleased we managed to win. Even though we qualified in 2nd place we were still uncertain about how well we would perform in a long race. Our pace was actually relatively stable though, and we were able to gather valuable data that will help in future races. This victory has really made me feel that we are in contention for the top spots. Having said that, we still haven’t achieved the balance in the cars that we’ve been seeking. I think we performed pretty well last year, but that wasn’t enough to win the championship. I first want to improve my performance to reach that level, and then aim even higher.”


Atsushi Miyake (#3 Niterra Motul Z) “I’m surprised and thrilled to have won in my second race since stepping up to the GT500 class. Even my performance in the qualifying session exceeded my expectations, and Takaboshi’s excellent start in the race built up a lead that allowed us to race calmly without any collisions or careless mistakes. Our win was really down to the performance of Takaboshi and the rest of the team. I know there are still areas where my driving needs to improve, so I will be working to thoroughly address those points before the next race. It won’t be easy, especially with the impact of the success weights, but I want to get to work on preparing to make sure we can be championship contenders.”


GT300 class


In the GT300 class, four Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s and one GTA GT300 regulation Fairlady Z competed. The #56 Realize Nissan Mechanic Challenge GT-R (Daiki Sasaki/Joao Paulo de Oliveira), went from 3rd in qualifying to securing a 2nd-place finish, earning their first podium of the season.