Calsonic/Team Impul and Nissan made its first big splash in 1987 when it fielded a Nissan Skyline GTS-R in Japan's Group A racing series. The R31 Skyline was the first Nissan built solely to compete in a specific racing series; it would not be the last. The GTS-R was a baby step as the R32 Skyline GT-R would rewrite the Group A record books, not to mention the rule books shortly after its racing debut in 1990. The R32 GT-R would dominate, winning 29 races out of 29 races. The complete domination over all comers earned the GT-R its nickname--Godzilla. During this run the GT-R won the JTC championship four consecutive years, continuing to win after numerous weight additions. The Calsonic/Team Impul GT-R was right in the thick of it.
Legendary Japanese driver Kazuyoshi Hoshino and his Team Impul were the driving force behind the Calsonic/Team Impul Skyline's success in the early days. The Calsonic/Team Impul GT-R was series champion in 1990, third in 1991, and second in 1994. Subsequent outings in R33- and R34-spec GT-Rs continued the success of Calsonic/Team Impul.
To better understand the legend of Hoshino consider he competed in two Formula 1 races, Mt. Fuji GP Japan in 1976 and 1977. The rain soaked 1976 contest, won by Mario Andretti, saw Hoshino rise as high as third place before falling out of the race. In 1977, Hoshino finished 11th in his Heros Racing Kojima Engineering KE009 Tyrel/Cosworth. He was the All Japan Formula 3000 champion in 1987, '90 and '93. He also competed in endurance racing for Nissan, helping Nissan to its first-ever podium finish in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998. Nissan put all four of its durable and quick R390 GT1s in the top 10 in '98--quite a feat.
The GT-Rs were eventually cast off into their own series and eventually the JGTC, which has become the pinnacle of circuit racing in Japan. At the end of the road Hoshino made sure the last thing the GT-R saw in front of it in competition was a checkered flag, winning at Suzuka, Nov. 16, 2003.
Michael Krumm and Satoshi Motoyama took the 2003 series title in the NISMO GT-R, ensuring the GT-R left the racing scene the same way it entered, a champion.
In 2004, Nissan stepped up and inserted the Fairlady 350Z as its JGTC warrior of choice and Hoshino became Team Director. The driving duo of Benoit Treluyer and Yuji Ide were inserted and Impul and Tomei got to work sorting out the Fairlady and its VQ30DETT V6 powerplant. The team finished a hard-fought 11th in 2004 but look for bigger things as the team gets in sync for the 2005 JGTC campaign.
|CALSONIC/TEAM IMPUL FAIRLADY Z SPECS|
|Chassis||UA-Z33 Nissan Fairlady Z (350Z)|
|Bore/Stroke (mm)||93 x 73.3|
|Air Restrictor||29.6 mm (2)|