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THE only non-Australian built Nissan Skyline GT-R raced by Mark Skaife is up for auction in Japan.

After last going under the hammer in 2018, the car that Team Taisan campaigned in the 1991 Japanese Touring Car Championship is among the lots in the Collection Car online auction currently underway as part of last weekend’s Tokyo Auto Salon 2022 custom car show.

Skaife raced the car at the 1991 Macau Grand Prix in the Guia touring car support race, an event that traditionally drew strong entries from Europe to take on teams from Japan and South East Asia.

Two Japanese-spec Nissans tackled the race, Skaife qualifying his Watson-sponsored Taisan car in seventh while Masahiro Hasemi qualified his eponymous team’s car on the front row.

After dominating the 1990 race the GT-Rs were slugged with a 140-kilogram weight penalty, while the BMW and Mercedes-led opposition were allowed to race in full DTM-spec.

The GT-R is presented as it raced in the 1991 JTCC. Pic: BINGO

Hasemi used the GT-R’s horsepower and four-wheel-drive to beat pole man Emanuele Pirro’s polesitting Schnitzer Team BMW M3 off the line, but the Italian slipped past a lap later into a lead he wouldn’t lose while the No.1 GT-R fell back quickly.

Skaife was behind a host of DTM stars in a steady sixth place – but ahead of Hasemi – when a mechanical issue sent him into the pits 10 laps into the 30-lap race.

“There was an electrical misfire and although I came into the pits a few times we just couldn’t pinpoint the problem,” Skaife told Auto Action at the time.

The car used a distinctive water-cooling system for the brakes which included a large tank on one side of the driver and a dry-break refill coupling on the other! Pic: BINGO

The car was the Taisan team’s first GT-R, built brand new at the start of 1991 by NISMO but raced in the Japanese Touring Car Championship without further factory support.

It was driven by Kenji Takahashi and drifting legend Keiichi Tsuchiya, although Skaife was supposed to join them for the final round of the championship at Fuji.

However, Skaife only completed four practice laps – where he was reportedly faster than the regular drivers – before team politics saw him relegated to spectating for the rest of the weekend.

Skaife drove the GT-R at Fuji and Macau but only raced it at the latter due to team politics. Pic: BINGO

According to the car’s previous auction listing in 2018, Taisan built a new car for the 1992 season while this machine went on to tackle the South East Asian Touring Car Championship in 1993.

Run by Japanese automotive auction house BINGO in conjunction with Yahoo Japan, the high bid for the GT-R is at just over 16 million yen (A$194,000) at the time of writing.

Bidding for the auction closes at 8:30pm local time on Sunday 23 January.

A peek under the bonnet. The car also reportedly briefly used a Holinger six-speed gearbox during the Fuji event until it was swapped out for the usual five-speed at the behest of rival GT-R teams… Pic: BINGO
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