Fuji Speedway played host to the NISMO Festival on Sunday, December 1, where dozens of the marque's most storied machines took to the track in front of over 32,000 adoring fans. After one year away (while Nismo was being relocated to a new HQ in Yokohama) this year's festival reaffirmed its position as the preeminent of the manufacturer-based post-season extravaganzas.
With an objective of bringing fans closer to the brand through the celebration of its successes - both current and historic - the NISMO Festival is eagerly awaited by motorsports enthusiasts, and widely acknowledged as the event that closes out the annual motorsports calendar in Japan.
The day was filled with on-track activity, keeping fans enthralled as iconic machines battled in exhibition races, some of them piloted by their original drivers.
After the opening ceremony, this year celebrating 80 years of Nissan, the first of the on-track sessions got underway with the Nissan Historic Demo Car Run. Featuring some of Nissan's most coveted vehicles across four decades from the '60s to the turn of the century, racers including the Nissan R380, R381 and R382 sports cars, and the first Skyline2000 GT-R ventured out on track amongst more modern machinery including a brace of Group A Skyline GT-Rs (R32), Group C machinery (R91CP, R92CP) and the unique NP35. There was also the familiar coloring of JGTC (All-Japan Grand Touring Championship) title-winning entries in the form of Pennzoil and Xanavi Nismo-liveried cars.
This was quickly followed by the NISSAN GT-R CTe (Club Track edition) Prestige Cup, with a field of a dozen identically prepared R35 GT-Rs on track for their 6-lap exhibition race.
Drifting was also represented - and by one of the country's most highly respected outfits, Team Orange. Their "Drift Show" had S13, S14 and S15 variants of Silvia, as well as the North-American spec. 180SX smoking their tires and exciting the crowds in the grandstand.
The NISSAN Historic Car Exhibition Race, where ‘minor touring' cars including the legendary B110 (16 examples), KPGC10 (3 examples) and B310 (13 examples) were demonstrated alongside 'Hakosuka' GT-Rs, Bluebirds and Sunnys, providing a reminiscent recap of a golden age in Japanese motorsports history.