By the end of 1971 racing season, the Skyline GT-R was barreling towards its highly anticipated 50th victory in Japan’s hotly contested touring car races. The GT-R had enjoyed three years of domination but, as history knows, the planning for that much publicized 50th win would all come tumbling down in Nissan’s face at the hands of a Mazda Savanna RX-3. Before that happened. though, on October 10, 1971, at a race that would be Nissan’s 49th checkered flag, the Hakosuka was at its absolute motorsports peak.
Best Motoring has uploaded an abridged version of the 1971 Fuji Masters 250km race. On a rainy and foggy day at Fuji International Speedway (is there any other kind?), the Skyline GT-R and eventual winner Motoharu Kurosawa are in top form, throwing roostertails of water and white-knuckling their way to victory number 49.
However, one can see a crack beginning to form in the Skyline GT-R’s wall of domination as Yoshimi Katayama‘s Mazda Capella RX-2 surges to the front of the pack as soon as green flag is dropped. For a while, it looks like the rotary has a real chance of beating the GT-R. By the midpoint, though, the Capella has fallen behind. It’s weight and solid-axle suspension just can’t keep up with the GT-R’s more advanced independent rear through the turns. Still, the race is no less exciting, with Gan-san and teammate Kunimitsu Takahashi duking it out for first. In the end, Katayama came in third, but foreshadowed what was to come.