Video: Nissan GT-R Walks 12 Aston, BMW, Ferrari & Porsche GT3 Cars

Though it might seem like Alex Buncombe is fighting with a pack of AI drivers in another round of Gran Turismo, this is the real deal. Totally confident in his abilities, the skilled Brit takes this Nismo GT-R GT3 by the scruff of its neck and demonstrates how to fly through a field with surgical precision. Few courses are harder to overtake on than the narrow, off-camber, treacherous Donington, which has proven too much for quite a few drivers—even the mighty Nigel Mansell. However, Buncombe shows us that with that odd combination of gusto and circumspection, you can pick your way through a field of talented hands without too much trouble.

Well, his confidence helps disguise some of the talent required to run wheel-to-wheel with another car on a course that’s hardly wide enough to allow both through. His charge past the first few is simple enough, but once he squares up the red Ferrari marked #21. With both of them fighting for a corner in fifth gear (0:50), Buncombe is nearly shoved off the course when the Ferrari’s nose nearly beats him to the subsequent corner. With a confident prod of the brakes and a slight squirm to the left, he stops the car on the white line before he takes an agricultural excursion. That could’ve been ugly.

With little room here, these widebodied GT3 machines through fly side-by-side in fifth gear.

It helps to have a good set of brakes and plenty of grip to do battle with. Massive 330-section tires at each corner, linked to the body by Öhlins TTX-dampers, give the GT-R the grip it needs, and AP Racing brakes with a sophisticated Bosch ABS system give it a dependable stopping force for last-minute maneuvers, which are regular occurrences in a fiercely contested series like British GT, as we just saw.

Plenty of power in this category make the Nismo GT-R GT3 quick but not so fast as to give it an advantage over the naturally-aspirated competition. This Nissan produces 550 horsepower at 6,400 RPM and 470 pound-feet of turbocharged torque at 4,100 RPM, and feeds that power through a Hewland six-speed sequential gearbox to the rear wheels alone. Best of all, that torque propels a car that’s been stripped down to a respectable 2,800 pounds. Still, the atmospheric Porsches, Lamborghinis, and Astons are just as quick in the straights, so Buncombe must always be a little earlier on the throttle to outdrag them, most notably at 1:57.

Towards the sharp end of the pack, the defending only gets stronger. It’s clear at 2:06 that the red Ferrari is capable of braking late off-line. This defensive drive forces Buncombe to take a deep breath and assess the situation, as he isn’t clear of the his pursuers and cannot afford to make a failed passing attempt. He has to resort to a late braking maneuver over a crest and into a very tight right (2:44), and he carries so much speed in that the car begins to oversteer after the geometric apex. Even though he deals with a smidgen of wheelspin and a delayed throttle, he defends his position well enough to prevent an over-under maneuver.

After dispensing with the very wide Ferrari, Buncombe’s GT-R snaps as he applies the throttle very late, having entered later on the brakes and off-line (2:47).

Though the front-running three have established a lead at that point, their squabbling allows Buncombe to brake late and close the gap in only a few corners. The green Porsche is easily dispensed with, but he has to anticipate the McLaren’s overzealous entry and defensive line (4:17) to get better drive off the corner. With total confidence, he needles his way through and pounces on the Aston ahead; showing us once again how brave he is on the brakes. Ladies and gentlemen, this is an overtaking masterclass—but only one of the many Buncombe is capable of demonstrating.

 

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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