October 11, 2012
Oct. 11 – Yokohama – NISMO racing driver Michael Krumm sped around the track at GranDrive with The Fastest Man in the World, Usain Bolt, who was named Nissan’s Director of Excitement on Thursday.
Krumm, a veteran of the Nissan DeltaWing team at Le Mans, described being a passenger and the budding racing talent of Mr. Bolt.
Q1. It was your first time driving GranDrive and the first time to have the world’s fastest man sitting next to you. What was it like going around the track?
We had a great time together out there. Not only me driving, but also sitting in the passenger seat. We had quite some fun. We went very fast, over 250km/hour on this little track. It’s just crazy how fast the Nissan GT-R accelerates, so that was amazing.
Q2. He said he got a little bit scared doing the corners with you. Did you do anything special to give him the full experience of the GT-R?
It’s not so easy to drive in a small place like this and show him the limit. So I showed him that you can drive on the limit, and he really enjoyed that a lot. He was screaming and shouting a lot in the car. It’s fun for me, too. We were sliding around, drifting around, and had the traction control off and everything. We used the banking, so the G-force we experienced at top speed – it was just great. He really enjoyed it a lot.
Q3. Usain Bolt also drove. Could you give us a critique of how he drives?
Yeah, that’s the funny thing. People told me that he can’t drive and I thought “OK, this is going to be dangerous. I’m going to sit next to him and he can’t drive.” But I was extremely positively surprised. I mean, he braked when I said brake, and when I said “Brake hard,” he did it immediately. The way he braked and the way he drove around the corners was really surprising. But obviously he likes cars, he loves cars. So that’s why he’s driving the Nissan GT-R privately as well. He drove really well.
But the best thing about him is that he improved so much. We did maybe about 5 or 6 laps, but we went really, really fast. And the other test driver was driving behind and he said “Wow. You guys went really fast.” And that was really a surprising experience.
A funny thing happened. I got so confident sitting next to him that I said, “Brake, brake.” And when we went 250km/hr coming to a tight corner, normally I said quite early “Brake, brake.” But with his good driving I said it later and later. At one stage, I was almost going to say it at the one point where I brake. But he kind of looked at me because I wasn’t saying anything. He looked for the command of “brake”, so he braked himself. It was really funny. I said, “Why did you brake? I haven’t said anything.” And he said, “I kind of felt it was time to brake.” So that was really nice, which is good, because he knows what he’s doing – absolutely. Amazing day – an amazing experience.