The 2004 Nismo Festival was held over the weekend of the 27th – 28th of November at Ti Cicuit in Aida Prefecture, in western Japan. It stood apart from previous Festivals as being Nismo 20th Anniversary celebration, with many guests appearing and a special effort made by the many companies who took part. Nismo also took the opportunity to debut it’s BNR34 Nismo Skyline GT-R Z Tune model…
The 2004 event was alot dryer than 2003, where puddles of mud in the traders area made walking around difficult, and the cold temperatures and strong wind made things unpleasant to say the least. This time around the sun shone, it was warmer, and there was definately a different atmosphere around with the 20th anniversary progam going on.
Nismo had their R33 400R GT-R and S14 270R Silvia on display in the area behind the main grandstand which was a departure from last year (they were behind a fence in the pit area) due to the bad weather. Nissan also had a large display outlining their various Motosports victories over the years, at Le Mans, in Group A, Group C and JGTC. Down behind the pits, HKS had an R32 Zero-R on display, alongside the Impul stand with their newly released Impul 500Z turbocharged Fairlady Z.
In the parking area in the middle of the circuit, the All-Japan Nissan Skyline Owners Club had a massive turn out of Hakosuka (C10) and Kenmeri (C110) Skylines, all impeccably presented and all engaging in a parade lap, along with S30 Fairlady Z’s and SR311 Datsun Fairladys. Seeing these cars making their way around the circuit en masse was unforgettable, just the sheer number of them almost too hard to believe. An equally memorable orange KPGC10 GT-R with carbon bonnet was on display behind the pits aswell, this car having been modified for circuit use with the original S20 2000cc Twin-cam taking pride of place in the engine bay.
Many demonstration runs took place, with Group A GT-Rs, Group C cars, D1 Drift Xtreme show and even the ‘faster than you think’ 110 Nissan Sunny making a few very impressive laps, at one stage overtaking a Group A R31 Skyline GTS-R going into the first corner off the main straight! The Group C Sportscar Prototypes were amazing to see too, the sheer speed down the straight compared to anything else was incredible. The Group A BNR32 GT-Rs were a crowd favourite, the drivers of which made no attempts to be cordial to one another on track, trying to out brake, out accellerate and out steer each other. You could see the obvious lack of downforce around corners with the Group A cars, but they more than made up for it in straight line speed. Of special note was the yellow 1969 Nissan R382 with it’s V12 DOHC engine on display in the pit area. Although it didn’t take to the track, drivers Takahashi-san, Kurosawa-san and Kitano-san were there to pose with the car for photos.
At the end of the day, many of the cars that took to the track earlier assembled on the start/finish line infront of the crowd gathered at the main grandstand, while speeches were given by Nissan Motorsports guests and officials. Emphasis was put on the next 20 years of Nismo’s involement in motorsport, with mention of the next GT-R model to replace the discontinued R34, and it’s role as Nissan’s flagship performance car going into the next decade.
The 2005 Nismo Festival is scheduled to be held at Fuji International Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Text and photos: Justin Karow