Nissan vs Porsche – Triumph for Turbo Dynamics at the 277th meeting held at Gurston Down Hillclimb.

Throwback article to 2011…….

The Nissan GT-R and Porsche 911 went head to head at Gurston Down Hillclimb on the May Bank Holiday in 2011, in a continuance of their long running battle for supremacy.

When Nissan launched their new R35 GT-R in Europe in March 2009 it was aimed directly to rival the performance of the Porsche 911 Turbo. With a claimed lap time of 7:26:7 on the base model’s Dunlop tyres around the famous Nürburgring circuit, it did just that. Porsche had accused Nissan of falsifying those claims in September 2008 and for some years now, a rivalry has been brewing between Porsche and Nissan.

Such has been the rivalry that many tests have been conducted. One such test was by Fifth Gear, named Battle of the Titans, comparing the latest 2012 Nissan GT-R with the 2011 Porsche 911 Turbo S, both with 530BHP on tap. Tiff Needell and Jason Plato did three specific tests with the two sports cars. The overall winner in the end was the lighter Porsche although some have their doubts.

Footage can be seen below:

Another test of the Nissan GTR was conducted by Bruno Senna – nephew of the late Ayrton Senna and can been seen below:

The most recent test however was one that had not been done before. How would the two cars compare up a 12 foot wide country road used by the BARC for the Gurston Down Speed Hillclimb. A 2012 Nissan GT-R sponsored by and Borg Warner EFR turbos, was put forward for the challenge in the over 2000 c.c. standard production car class which is sponsored by Turbo Dynamics Limited. The GTR was driven by Turbo Dynamics  M.D. Peter Marsh, whilst the new Porsche 911 turbo was dual driven by Andrew Fraser and Tim Painter.

The current record for this class, held by Roy Barker in his 600BHP Mitsubishi Evo 5, was set in July 2010 at 34.69 seconds and has been challenged time and time again but never beaten… that is until Sunday May 29th 2011 at approximately 11.15am where it was eclipsed by just over half a second – a huge time gain in the world of speed hillclimbing. In Peter’s first timed run of the day he tidily packed the course into 34.17 seconds. Following this triumph, Peter acknowledged “I know I can shave a little more time off this with even more commitment in ‘Hollow’ and a tidier exit out of ‘Ashes’ – easy to say but harder to put into practice!”

A comment that Tiff Needell would agree with having recently tried his hand at Hillclimbing in a 500BHP Ariel Atom for Channel 5’s Fifth Gear program at Gurston Hillclimb. Gurston is an event where you can get up close and personal to all manner of cars ranging from road cars to large capacity single seater racing cars powered by Ex-F1 engines. Although the course duration is not long, it challenges the keenest of drivers and, in Mr. Needells words himself, “This must be the most precise form of motorsport ever invented. One small mistake and your time’s useless”.

Tiff Needell’s run can be viewed here:

Whilst Peter Marsh’s class record breaking run can be viewed here:

37.40 seconds was the best time set by the Porsche 997 driven by Tim Painter. Peter Marsh’s time also put him ahead of all the cars in the modified production cars over 2000c.c. class, including Subaru Imprezas, a Mitsubishi Evo and Audi Quattros. In fact the Nissan was positioned 68th out of 166 cars overall, just behind a Ralt RT3 racing car. “Virtually all of the cars ahead of me were single seater racing cars, a good advert for the agility and traction of the GTR despite its massive weight” commented Peter Marsh.

This weekends extravaganza was the 7th and 8th rounds of the 2011 Nicholson McLaren MSA British Hillclimb Championship and the Shell Racing Solutions Hillclimb Leaders Championship. is a division of Turbo Dynamics Limited.