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posted: 11/13/2017 6:00 AM

Nissan selects its Top 20 racers

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  • No. 1: Nissan Skyline GT-R R32

    No. 1: Nissan Skyline GT-R R32

  • No. 11: 1971 Datsun BRE 510, John Morton's SCCA Trans-AM 1971 and 1972 champion.

    No. 11: 1971 Datsun BRE 510, John Morton's SCCA Trans-AM 1971 and 1972 champion.

  • No 20: Datsun Bluebird 1300SS, 1966 East African Safari winner.

    No 20: Datsun Bluebird 1300SS, 1966 East African Safari winner.

  • No. 9. Nissan R390 GT1, third place for Nissan at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998.

    No. 9. Nissan R390 GT1, third place for Nissan at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1998.

  • No. 14. Nissan DPi IMSA 2017. Debut season in 2017 in IMSA competition with two wins, including Petit Le Mans.

    No. 14. Nissan DPi IMSA 2017. Debut season in 2017 in IMSA competition with two wins, including Petit Le Mans.

  • No. 10. Nissan R381, winner of the 1968 and 1969 Japan GP.

    No. 10. Nissan R381, winner of the 1968 and 1969 Japan GP.

  • No. 15. Nissan R91CP, winner of the Daytona 24 Hour in 1992.

    No. 15. Nissan R91CP, winner of the Daytona 24 Hour in 1992.

  • No. 3. Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 2003, championship winner in Japan with drivers Satoshi Motoyama and Michael Krumm.

    No. 3. Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 2003, championship winner in Japan with drivers Satoshi Motoyama and Michael Krumm.

 
 

To celebrate the upcoming 20th edition of NISMO Festival, Nissan and its performance division, NISMO, picked its Top 20 race cars of all time and posed the question to fans -- which one is the greatest?

The polling took place on social media and the crown went to the Nissan Skyline GT-R R32. In production for just five years, the Skyline GT-R R32 earned top honors in championships and prestigious races on three different continents.

In Europe, the R32 took the overall victory in the Spa 24 in 1991. And it won the Australian Touring Car Championship for the first time in 1991, following up with another championship there in 1992. It also earned Bathurst 1000 victories in Australia both years.

However, it was in Japanese touring cars where the R32 saw arguably its biggest successes. The Nissan Skyline GT-R R32 scored the victory in every Japanese Touring Car Championship race during the 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993 seasons, earning championships for the Hasemi and Impul teams along the way.

In addition to its racing repertoire, the R32's status as a fan favorite was cemented with its inclusion in the wildly popular Gran Turismo video game series.

The GT-R series nearly had a clean sweep, taking four of the top five places on Nissan's list. Coming in second was the Skyline GT-R R34 2003, third went to the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 and the GT-R NISMO GT500 2014/15 took fourth. Fifth place went to the Nissan R92CP.

It isn't all modern machines on the Top 20 list. A 1971 Datsun 510 finished in 11th place. The car was driven by John Morton and took the SCCA Trans-AM championship in 1971 and 1972. The Datsun Bluebird 1300SS was the first Japanese car to win in its class at the 14th East African Safari Rally, held in 1966. It came in 20th on the list.

The NISMO Festival takes place on Nov. 26 this year at the Fuji International Speedway in Japan. The event attracts nearly 30,000 fans who will be able to see the pride of Nissan's historical race cars on the course and in the pit area as well as a gathering of active Nissan drivers, team principals, and legendary drivers.

There will also be course runs and exhibitions that reflect themes from the year. In the event area, in addition to talk shows and autograph sessions, there will be a "garage sale" where fans have an opportunity to buy parts that are used in actual race cars.

• Share your car's story with Matt at auto@dailyherald.com.

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