1988-1990 Nissan GTP ZX-T

Images copyright Ashley Page, Martin Spetz, and Michael J. Fuller
Text copyright Michael J. Fuller
Nissan GTP ZX-T, Chassis #8805, Mitty HSR, Road Atlanta 2008While it seems contrary to history, the realities were that the early days of the Electramotive Nissan IMSA GTP program were somewhat lean from a budgetary standpoint.  Consider that Electramotive would debut the Lola-designed Lola-Nissan 810 in 1985 but wouldn't design a completely new car until 1990, following the transition from Electramotive to Nissan Performance Technology, Inc.

But between 1985 and 1990 Electramotive worked from strengths within the organization and developed some of the better examples of improvisational engineering (perhaps only exceeded by the Porsche 962 customers) as they developed the Nissan-Lola 810 into the Nissan GTP ZX-T.

The Nissan GTP ZX-T had a protracted debut which started at Portland in 1986 and carried on through until all the components finally came together for the start of the 1988 season.  The developments came in three majors steps; the introduction of the Yoshi Suzuka developed bodywork at Portland in 1986, the replacement of the Weismann gearbox and Lola bellhousing at the start of the 1987 season, and the Trevor Harris re-designed monocoque for the 1988 season.  One also can't neglect to mention the switch off of Bridgestone onto Goodyear rubber.  

So by 1988 roughly 95% of the car was Electramotive designed and manufactured (the Lola uprights carried over).  And 1988’s results were a reflection of all the methodical hard work the team had put in:  9 wins, 8 poles, 10 fastest laps, and the IMSA GTP Driver’s Championship for Brabham (they just missed out on the Manufacturer’s Championship by 1 point) even having skipped Daytona and Sebring.  Electramotive’s (protracted) ground-up redesign of the Lola 810 paid tremendous dividends for Suzuka and the team, “In ’88 we won 8 races in a row (with chassis #8801, nicknamed "Elvis" because it was the king, responsible for all 8), only to have a drive shaft fail and costs us a 9th consecutive win.” 

1989’s statistics were even better with 10 wins (including Sebring), 9 poles, and 7 fastest laps, and this time both the Driver’s and Manufacturer’s Championships, Nissan’s first.
Click on each image below...

1988-1990 Nissan GTP ZX-T Specifications
Designer: Aerodynamics:  Yoshi Suzuka
Chassis:  Trevor Harris
Engine:  John Knepp
Layout: Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive
Monocoque: Aluminum honeycomb monocoque with steel roll over structure
Engine: Electramotive designed Nissan VG30, 3.0 liter, 60░ V6, single turbo
Horsepower: Pre-1988: 1000 hp, "Whatever horsepower was called for it was there"--Ashely Page Electramotive memories
1988: 850 hp, 57 mm restrictor
1989: ~750 hp, 54 mm restrictor
Torque:Pre-1988: 1000 lb-ft
1988-1989: 750-800 lb-ft
Gearbox: 5-speed Hewland VGC
Suspension: Front:  Upper and lower A-arms with the spring/damper mounted to the outboard end of the lower A-arm and angled to a pickup point located on the monocoque.

Rear: Upper and lower A-arms, spring/damper attaches at the bottom to the upright and to transverse chassis frame at the top.
Brakes: Four wheel 13" disc brakes, four-piston AP calipers
Wheels: BBS,
Front:  13.0 x 17 inch
Rear:  15.0 x 17 inch
Tires: Goodyear radial
Front: 12.5 x 25.5 x 17.0
Rear: 14.5 x 27.5 x 17.0
Length: 4800 mm 
Width: 2007 mm
Height: 1016 mm
Wheelbase: 2705 mm 
Weights: 952.5 kgs
Tank capacity: 120 liters
ęCopyright 2012, Michael J. Fuller