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Swoon over this Bathurst-winning R32 Skyline
Nissan goes all retro for Bathurst to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Godzilla’s dominance
Internet, bear witness to a legend. The car that crushed its competitor to smithereens and made way for the greatest motoring nameplates in history: Godzilla.
It’s the Nissan R32 Skyline. But you knew that already. The absurdly wide, crazy cambered ripsnorting twin-turbo, six-cylinder monster that was so advanced (four-wheel steer with computer-controlled torque split) and dominant, it was slowed down by being told to put on some pounds and wear skinnier tyres.
And when we say dominant, we don’t mean winning the majority of races. We mean all the races. On home soil in Japan, the GT-R entered the All Japan Touring Car Championship and vanquished the opposition by winning 29 races from 29 starts across four seasons of total, unprecedented dominance.
In Australia, Nissan hot shoes Jim Richards and Mark Skaife won the 1990, 1991 and 1992 Group A championships – what we now know as V8 Supercars – plus the ’91 and ’92 Bathurst 1000 races.
This weekend is 59th running of the Bathurst 1000 – the nutty endurance slog around one of the toughest tracks on the planet, Mount Panorama Circuit. It’s a cocktail of tarmac that’s reminiscent of parts of the Nurburgring, Laguna Seca and Le Mans, but in the searing heat of Australia. Drivers snake through the scary mountain section onto fast straights and big braking zones, occasionally collecting a kangaroo on the way through. Sorry, Skippy.
In 1991 Jim Richards and Mark Skaife shattered the Bathurst record, finishing in 6h 19m 14.80s after clocking up 161 laps at an average of 98.31 mph. It was the fastest race in its history.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of this feat, Nissan has brought back the infamous red, white and blue war paint the R32 wore in 1991. It’s lacquered it onto the #23 Nissan Altima Supercar that Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore will pilot around Bathurst this weekend. And doesn’t it look good?
As you can see, the way that Australian Touring Cars have evolved over the last quarter century is quite eye-opening. There’s a lot more safety, a lot more aero and, erm, slightly less character. Seriously, look at the side exhaust on the Skyline – it’s the size of a sewer pipe. How can you not love that?