05 SEP 2017
Simona De Silvestro goes retro for Sandown
Nissan Motorsport will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the marque rewriting the record books, as the team today unveils a special livery for this month's Wilson Security Sandown 500.
Simona De Silvestro's #78 Team Harvey Norman Supercar will wear a retro inspired theme to mark the 50th anniversary of the Nissan R380 Type II. This remarkable car set seven international speed records on October 8, 1967. With Nissan Racing Team driver Tatsu Yokoyama behind the wheel, the R380 set records in the fastest 50km, 50 miles, 100km, 100 miles, 200km, 200 miles and most distance traveled over 1 hour.
The vehicle had also won the 1966 Japanese Grand Prix as well as setting an original five international speed records in 1965. These achievements confirm the R380 as a Nissan racing legend.
"The car looks amazing, and I love the idea of going retro for Sandown," said De Silvestro.
"Nissan has a lot of famous race cars and to be honest I didn't know much about the R380 before, but this has been a nice chance to learn about such a successful car. So while it certainly achieved a lot, I think it also makes for a really good looking Supercar
"The whole team has gotten behind the retro idea, and I think it's a great way have a bit of fun ahead of what is a very serious part of the season."
This year the 29-year-old Swiss driver makes her debut across the full Pirtek Enduro Cup - following one-off appearances at Bathurst in 2015 and 2016.
"It will be exciting to share my car with David Russell for the endurance rounds," continued De Silvestro. "Given his experience in the team over the last couple of years, David probably has had more seat time in the Altima than I have. So that level of experience will be beneficial when we're dealing with longer races where anything can happen."
The R380 was powered by a GR8 engine, an adaptation from Skyline's engine of the period and produced 164 kW. The car's secret was in the aerodynamic aluminum body, which only weighed 650kgs. In 2005 the car was restored by Nismo in Japan and now features in the Nissan Heritage Museum.