One of the most brutally fast racing cars ever built, the Nissan GTP ZX-T was that rarest of beasts: a Porsche and Jaguar slayer. Beginning with a win at Miami street race in ’87, progressing to Geoff Brabham’s IMSA Camel GT drivers title in ’88 and culminating in an ‘89 season that saw Brabham narrowly edge teammate Chip Robinson for a second drivers title while capturing the manufacturers championship, the Nissan GTP ZX-T emerged as the dominant force in North American sports car racing.
After utilizing a Lola chassis for the basis of Nissan’s first IMSA challenger in 1985, El Segundo, CA-based Electramotive Engineering gradually segued into building its own Trevor Harris-designed chassis to house Nissan’s prodigiously powerful VG30ET turbocharged engine. Always fast, the Nissans were fragile, at least initially. But by ’88 continuous development largely cured the reliability problems and, but for the fact the Electramotive team skipped the opening rounds of the IMSA schedule (the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring) Nissan would have almost certainly won the manufacturers title to go along with Brabham’s drivers championship. The following year the Electramotive Nissan won two of the first three races including the 12 Hours of Sebring (with Arie Luyendyk joining Brabham and Robinson at the wheel). With additional wins at Road Atlanta, Lime Rock, Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen, Road America, Heartland Motorsports Park (Topeka), the San Antonio street race and Sears Point, the Nissan GTP ZX-T solidified its reputation as one of the most potent sports cars of any era.