Page 1 of 1 Over the last decade the All Japan GT Championship has grown out to the country's leading motorsport championship, rivalled in popularity only by Formula 1 and Formula Nippon. From the 2005 season the name of the championship changed to 'Super GT', but for the competitors little changed. The highly modified and brightly livered Nissan Skyline, Toyota Supra and Honda NSX racers are best known in the rest of the world for their prominent presence in the popular video game title Gran Turismo. These all appear in the top of the line GT500 class and are joined by the more standard GT300 cars. For the last couple of years the leading cars remained fairly similar with Toyota and Honda continuing to race the Supra and NSX models. Only Nissan replaced the all dominant Skyline with a 350 Z, or Fairlady Z as it is known in Japan, derived racer.
With its mid engine layout the NSX should offer a perfect base for a racing car, and with the help of racing car constructor Dome it has been fairly successful in recent years. Although it still resembles the street NSX, a lot was modified under the body. Whereas the road car relies on Honda's advanced variable valve timing and natural aspiration for its power, the racer features a slightly smaller version of the V6, equipped with two Turbochargers. The most striking exterior feature is the periscopic style air intake intake on top of the rear deck, which is reminiscent of the 1970s F1 racers. Inside the 'snorkle' there is the mandatory restrictor, designed to level the playing field.
Four examples are entered in the 2005 Super GT championship, which kicked off in March with a 300 km race at the Okayama track. Victory in the inaugaral Super GT race was clinched by a Supra and a similar car took the win in the second race, the Fuji 500 km. Unfortunately the NSX drivers have thusfar failed to impress, but there are another six races ahead in the championship to make up for the poor start. Page 1 of 1