Nissan’s remarkable 50+ years history of motorsport in the US and it’s exciting future were showcased at this year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.
Selected as the first ever featured marque from Japan, Nissan and Datsun stars and cars were on site for the event including Peter Brock’s championship-winning BRE cars from the early 70s as driven by John Morton, Geoff Brabham’s four-time championship-winning Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo prototype and Steve Millen’s Nissan 300ZX which scored victory at Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans in 1994.
The Nissan/Datsun display in the paddock also featured the 1969 Japan Grand Prix-winning Nissan R382 and the one-of-a-kind 1998 Nissan R390 GT1 road car – a fan favorite in the virtual world thanks to the Playstation game “Gran Turismo” on PlayStation.
“I come to this event every year but never has it been like this,” Morton said. “This is the first time a Japanese car has been the featured marque, and it is just incredible to see this many Nissan and Datsuns and this many fans – I’m actually overwhelmed.
“It was great to be back in the 240Z – it is like a time machine for me – it takes me back almost 50 years. It was great to see so many friends from the old BRE crew that were here too. There is nobody on the team that is not still a friend – we are all still together even after all these years.”
More than 50 historic Nissan and Datsun machines competed at the event including Datsun Roadsters, Datsun 510s and Datsun 240Zs.
While fans could look back to see the 1972 Skyline GT-R Hakosuka do battle on track, both the current Nissan GT-R NISMO and the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign also completed laps around the famous Laguna Seca circuit.
It was the first opportunity for US fans to see the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign, which continued its “world tour.” The car made its debut earlier this year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK and also appeared at this year’s Spa 24 Hour in Belgium. The GT-R50 is next slated to appear where the GT-R legend began – Tokyo, Japan.
Nissan’s next generation of motorsport was also on site in Monterey with the Nissan Formula E “Gen 2” race car. Nissan will debut in the all-electric street racing series in December of this year. It was displayed next to a special Nissan LEAF, with identical livery.