Quintarelli convinced 2021 will be "different" for Nissan

Jamie Klein
·2-min read

Nissan's latest iteration of the GT-R scored two wins last season in the hands of Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda at Suzuka, but struggled for competitiveness at Fuji, which hosted half of the eight races on a coronavirus-impacted 2020 schedule.

The Yokohama marque also suffered a slow start to the year as it got to grips with reliability issues across its four entries in the top GT500 class.

Ronnie Quintarelli(#23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R)

Ronnie Quintarelli(#23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R)<span class="copyright">Masahide Kamio</span>
Ronnie Quintarelli(#23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R)Masahide Kamio

Masahide Kamio

Quintarelli is also convinced that a more regular schedule in 2021 will help Nissan in its bid to earn its first GT500 title since 2015.

"We just had three circuits this year and looking back and Fuji is the one that doesn’t suit our car, and to have four races here is not the best for us," said the Italian.

"For sure there are many more tracks where you need more downforce than Fuji. If we can run those tracks, which were on this year’s schedule originally, it will be a different situation."

Nissan first introduced the GT-R as the basis for its GT500 challenger in 2008, and has stuck by the model in the face of newer competition from Toyota's GR Supra (introduced this year), and Honda's NSX-GT (first used in 'Concept' guise in 2014).

NISMO COO Motohiro Matsumura told Motorsport.com he remains convinced that the GT-R is still capable of matching its newer rivals in the GT500 class.

 

"The GT-R is the current top sports model of Nissan. Globally, everybody recognises that it’s a great sports car. So, at least for the moment, it needs to be kept - also because the fans require that the GT-R wins!

"From a general standpoint, if there are more tight corner circuits like Okayama or Sugo [on next year's schedule], we have some opportunities, I think."

#23 NISMO Nissan GT-R: Tsugio Matsuda, Ronnie Quintarelli

#23 NISMO Nissan GT-R: Tsugio Matsuda, Ronnie Quintarelli <span class="copyright">Masahide Kamio</span>
#23 NISMO Nissan GT-R: Tsugio Matsuda, Ronnie Quintarelli Masahide Kamio

Masahide Kamio