Remember "Save the Enzos?" We may need a new campaign for the technological wonderboy R35 Nissan GT-R. There are so many of these fantastic cars being driven by people who feel like the tech will save them at track days that it's time for an intervention.
Full disclosure: it's not the car I'd pick for track hoonage. Granted, a lot of my reasons for this are because I have trouble seeing over the dashboard, but mainly, it's a car that is so good at correcting minor snafus that even major ones likely won't send you into the wall.
Yesterday's display of knobby driving was just the tip of the iceberg. Everyone who's been to a trackday has myriad stories of someone who's just in over their head with this amazing car.
The GT-R holds a lot of appeal to stats geeks. It's the best car because the numbers say so, and when an apex-averse, ham-fisted, one-arm-driven lap still posts a good laptime, well, who can argue with the numbers?
But won't you please, please think of the poor GT-Rs? If little mistakes are too much to handle, eventually, a bigger mistake will happen and it will be too much for both the car and the driver to handle. Adios, Gojira, we barely knew ye.
When placed into capable hands, the GT-R has a tendency to smash records and prove that all that engineering work actually went to good use. It's brutally quick.
When placed in less capable hands, however, it looks a lot like this:
So, here's our plea for an intervention. SAVE THE GT-Rs!
If you're continually in more car than you can handle with the epic R35, please, use it as a lovely daily (mmmm, BOOST!) and pick up a more analog track car in the meantime to cut your teeth with. Then when you've got a better feel for how weight transfer, racing lines and other essential concepts work, you can put some better laps down in the GT-R.
Unfortunately, the GT-R isn't as communicative as other platforms, so the learning curve with track driving in a stiff, tech-heavy GT-R is a bit higher. It tends to save a driver from an off before, say, understeer catches up with them.
The R35 is a great display of technology, and worthy of saving. Prices keep going up and up, so I see fewer of these cars on the road. So, please—it's not as rare as an Enzo, but think of the GT-Rs. They're technological marvels, and ones that you need a lot of seat time before you can properly conquer them on track.
(H/T EricJ on trackjunkies.org for the video)