First item on the agenda was covering up the rather ugly matt black plastic monolith on the dash where the stereo/AC controls are and the faux leather surround to the gearshift lever. I ordered a couple of beautiful, real carbon fibre pieces made by RSW in Japan via TunerLab.jp. They proved simple to fit and the result is a far sleeker-looking console, more befitting the GT-R’s image.
I then ordered a gorgeous set of carbon bonnet vents and canards made by Auto Select and a smart carbon front grill by Mine’s, also all supplied by TunerLab.jp.
They were fitted at the 6 month service by the experts at Middlehurst Motorsport, along with Nissan LED daylight running lights.
Because I had done so many track miles and had taken the transmission oil temps over 120°C a few times, Gary Finney advised I should also have the transmission fluid changed.
I decided to try some Willall fluid specifically designed to protect the GT-R’s GR6 dual clutch ‘box. According to Willall, an Australian motorsports company (www.willallracing.com), their fluid will not oxidise and degrade like the standard Nissan fluid, even under severe use.
Other predictable victims of my track outings were the brakes and front tyres, and as the worn OEM Dunlop runflats seemed highly questionable in the wet (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgtBEoDXGuE ), I thought I would try the Bridgestone Potenza alternatives (standard equipment on GT-Rs in Japan and the US). Middlehurst supplied some grooved AP Racing front brake discs and I was the guinea pig for some Ferodo DS2500 pads.
The transporter had barely dropped the car back (part of the free concierge service that Nissan provide), before I was off to test the new set up in a return visit to the GT-R’s second home, the Nürburgring. [this was back in October]
I went on a full-on track day this time, run by Trackdays.de. Amiable German petrolheads Peter and Matthias run the company and made me feel very welcome as the lone Brit, helped by the ten other European R35 GT-R owners who turned up!
I was amazed by how much the whole complex around the Ring had developed in the five months between visits and enthusiastic Czech GT-R owner Jan Kislinger lead us all on an impromptu convoy to the indoor shopping promenade where security guards unquestioningly opened the shutters and let us all park noisily outside the Nissan boutique.
The poor guy working in the shop seemed a little shocked to see eleven GT-Rs turn up unannounced, but we had a good look around Nissan’s scale model of the Nordschleife, and the SpecV, standard GT-R and immaculate 240Z adorning the showroom.
The track day itself was very damp and initial impressions were that the Bridgestones appeared to have no more grip but more progressive breakaway than the Dunlops. However, the Ferodo DS2500s didn’t seem up to the job of confidently stopping the heavyweight Godzilla and there was judder even on the brand new AP discs.
Nonetheless it was an exciting (and scary) thrill being able to top 180mph on the main straight and all eleven GT-Rs made it through the day unscathed, unlike multiple 911s, M3s and Lotii…
This really is the car that can do it all.
[track photo by carlo maeker, www.cmaeker.com ]