This is the world’s fastest GT-R of its type?

By J.A. Ackley
May 12, 2023 | Nissan, Nissan GT-R, Circuit of the Americas, NATA, NATA Championship, Global Time Attack

Cole Powelson says the Nissan GT-R that he ran during round one of the NATA Championship is “the fastest GT-R of its type.” It’s hard to argue that when it laid down a blistering 2:04.379 lap in February at the Circuit of The Americas during Global Time Attack’s Super Lap Battle event.

[First round of the NATA Championship results]

We raced against the top team in Japan, top teams in Australia [and] the U.S.,” says Powelson, whose Lyfe Motorsport started building the car in 2015. “We’re the fastest R35 GT-R in the world–we’ve never been beat [by another R35].”

What makes this GT-R so fast?

Aerodynamics,” Powelson says. “We run stock subframes, a bolt-on turbo system–we run up to 1100 [horsepower] on track–but the majority of the development is around aerodynamics.”

The huge emphasis on the aero package makes for a unique driving experience.

Dude, it’s indescribable how nutty these high-downforce cars are for Time Attack,” says Powelson. “I’ve driven Formula Atlantics and other high-downforce cars–nothing is as gnarly as the amount of downforce and the power to do it.

I vividly remember the first time I had that car together [with] the high-downforce package. We were in Sydney [Australia] for World Time Attack. I come on the front straightaway and the thing feels like an 8-second drag car. [It had] very violent acceleration, with wheels spinning, chassis moving, and this is out of a 50-mph corner. When the speed ramps up, it becomes more docile. This shaking beast becomes a firmly planted, very stable, slow accelerating thing. As downforce ramped up … that tamed the horsepower.”

While Cole Powelson won’t make the next NATA event–he’ll be preparing for World Time Attack in Sydney–you can still catch many other high-downforce, high-power cars at the round two event.

The next round takes place on June 2-4 during Gridlife Midwest at GingerMan Raceway in South Haven, Michigan.

What exactly is NATA? The North American Time Attack Council Championship presented by Grassroots Motorsports simplifies time trials by presenting a format that lets drivers easily collect points in participating events across Global Time Attack, Gridlife and SCCA Time Trials.

[Introducing the NATA Championship presented by Grassroots Motorsports]

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