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Nissan R32 GT-R ATCC walkaround

By Scott Newman, 05 Oct 2016 Features

Mark Skaife offers a history lesson on the mighty Godzilla

Nissan R32 GT-R ATCC walkaround

This year's Bathurst 1000 marks the 25th Anniversary of Nissan's first win at Mount Panorama.

To celebrate, Nissan Australia has painted its lead Altima, the car of Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore, in the iconic red, white and blue paint job of the R32 GT-R that secured victory a quarter of a century ago, driven by Mark Skaife and Jim Richards.

In the video above, Skaife talks Caruso through the mighty Godzilla, pointing out the enormous amount of work required to make the R32 the dominant force it was in Australian touring car racing.

Nissan Altima R32 GT-RWhile the GT-R also dominated the Japanese touring car scene, the need to beat the likes of the Ford Sierra RS500 and BMW E30 M3 meant Gibson Motorsport had to re-engineer the R32 for local competition.

Larger brakes, new wheels, more powerful engines, bespoke gearboxes and adjustable all-wheel drive systems were just some of the modifications that made the Gibson GT-Rs the fastest in the world.

Despite the advantage of all-wheel drive, Skaife explains how the R32's power and weight made them very challenging to drive at Bathurst, however this footage from the 1991 Top 10 shootout graphically illustrates how much of an animal a GT-R on the limit was.

Skaife beat the second-placed GT-R of Mark Gibbs by more than 1.2sec and was over two seconds clear of Glenn Seton's Sierra in third.

Skaife and Richards would go on to win the race by a lap, the first of two consecutive Bathurst victories, the second coming in controversial circumstances after it ended up in the wall after a sudden downpour.