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Nissan Announces GT500 Lineups; Baguette Joins Impul

Nissan signs Bertrand Baguette to GT500 roster as part of three lineup changes…

Photo: Super GT

Former Honda factory driver Bertrand Baguette has been confirmed as part of Nissan’s GT500 driver lineup for the upcoming Super GT season.

The Belgian racer, who parted ways with Honda after an eight-year stint at the end of last year, will drive for Team Impul in the top GT500 class alongside Kazuki Hiramine.

Nissan is continuing to support four entries in Super GT’s headline category for its introduction of the new Nissan Z GT500 which is replacing the outgoing GT-R model.

Baguette effectively replaces Nobuharu Matsushita, who has gone the other way and joined Honda after making his GT500 debut with Team Impul last season.

Matsushita and Hirate were Nissan’s top pairing in 2021 and claimed a mid-season race victory at Sugo.

Elsewhere in the Nissan camp, there has been a driver swap involving Kohei Hirate and Mitsunori Takaboshi who are now in the Kondo and NDDP Racing entries respectively.

Hirate teamed up with Katsumasa Chiyo at NDDP last term while Takaboshi previously drove with Daiki Sasaki at Kondo. Chiyo and Sasaki have retained their seats for 2022.

The only unchanged Nissan GT500 driver lineup is in the No. 23 NISMO car, which Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda will share for a ninth consecutive season.

“This season, we have assembled a driver lineup that can win at any time,” said NISMO President and CEO Takao Katagiri.

“We expect Bertrand Baguette, who joined Team Impul this season, to drive passionately matched to the team.

“Jiro Shimada and Takeshi Nakajima have been appointed team principal of NDDP Racing and NISMO respectively. Although new to their positions, we have full confidence in them due to their deep knowledge of and experience in racing.

“The debut season for the Nissan Z GT500 is about to start and development of the new vehicle for the opening round is reaching its final stages.

“Under the new team structures, we will unite our efforts and do our best in every race, always aiming for victory. We thank all our fans and partners for their continued support.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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