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There has been surprisingly little news about the Brass Monkey Nissan GT-R race team competing in the World Challenge series – party because other than their introduction, the cars haven’t generated much excitement themselves. Sure the GT-R is an amazing sports car, even holding a Nürburgring record at one point, but so far the two car effort has been relegated to the back of the pack in the lead GT class.
The GT Class is most certainly where the GT-R belongs, competing alongside Corvettes, Vipers and Porsches – as well as the awesomely capable Volvo S60s – but the development process is a slow one. This weekend the team ran both cars, with a best finish in the first race of a two race weekend being Tony Rivera in the No. 97 car in 10th. While in the second race Rivera managed 12th. Sadly neither finish was on the lead lap, but the potential is obvious with Rivera taking the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start award for moving up two positions on lap one in race one, while in race two he managed to gain five positions off the start.
We had a chance to get up close to the cars during the two-race weekend at Mosport International Raceway and were surprised to see differing levels of development with a carbon fiber trunk lid being used to save weight, while inside much of the factory dash remains intact. Fans of the GT-R and of motorsports will want to check out our gallery below.
GALLERY: Brass Monkey Racing Nissan GT-R
Brass Monkey Racing to run two cars with support by Nissan North America
Nissan is about to get back into North American motorsports in big way, competing with a pair of GT-R’s in the 2010 World Challenge GT Class. The cars will be run by Brass Monkey Racing, with assistance by Nissan North America, and will debut on the weekend of March 26-28 in St. Petersburg, FL, competing alongside Corvettes, Vipers and Porsches.
The two cars will be piloted by two-time series winner Tony Rivera and rookie Steve Ott.
Brass Monkey Racing first competed in the World Challenge series last year using a Porsche GT3, winning its first race and finishing third overall.
“We’re very excited to bring such an iconic car to the North American professional road racing scene,” Brass Monkey Racing Team Owner A.J. Brass said. “After such a successful season in 2009, finishing third in the Championship and winning in our very first race, we look forward to the challenge of bringing an entirely new platform to World Challenge. With Nissan’s assistance and great engineering and driving, we expect to contend for the 2010 Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championships.”
“Many of the cars in the series have serious modifications to the engines and drivelines from the stock vehicles,” Brass said. “The beauty of the GT-R is that it is an amazing platform to start with and we are able to utilize all of the stock internal components and drivetrain. With the exception of some of the approved series aerodynamic items and an effort to bring the car down to a competitive weight, the car will remain incredibly stock compared to most of our competition.”
Nissan last competed in the World Challenge several years ago in the lower Touring Car class, using a Sentra SE-R Spec V model.
Official release after the jump: