NISMO NEWS - JUNE 20, 2017
- Motul Team RJN aims for Paul Ricard repeat
- Pole winning pace in Darwin Supercars
MOTUL TEAM RJN AIM FOR RICARD RETURN TO FORM
Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet, France: Motul Team RJN heads to one of its happy hunting grounds in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup this weekend at Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France
The Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 has been a strong performer at Le Castellet in the past two seasons, winning the race overall in 2015 with Alex Buncombe, Katsumasa Chiyo and Wolfgang Reip and making a strong charge through to fifth place in the corresponding event last year. Last year's battle included an epic drive from Lucas Ordóñez who made up 26 positions in his first stint after Mitsunori Takaboshi was spun at the final corner.
The 2015 win in France was one of the milestone results for Nissan's 2015 championship victory.
"I really can't wait to get to Paul Ricard. It's our favorite track for sure," Buncombe said.
"The Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 really suits Paul Ricard perfectly with the long straights. We've had really good success there over the past couple of years. Most memorably, 2015 where we won the race overall. We're feeling strong here.
"It's been a tough start to this season and I really want to score some good points there and look forward to Spa as well, that's the big one of the season."
NISMO drivers Buncombe, Chiyo and Ordóñez will combine aboard the No. 23 GT-R while Nissan GT Academy winner Matt Simmons will again team up with Matt Parry and Struan Moore aboard the No. 22 Motul Team RJN entry.
This weekend's Paul Ricard round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup will again be shown live on NISMO TV on YouTube.
NISSAN MOTORSPORT SHOW POLE WINNING PACE AT HIDDEN VALLEY
Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin, NT, Australia: Nissan Motorsport ace Rick Kelly had great pace but not great fortune as the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship visited Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway last weekend.
The Nissan Altima racer earned pole position for the first of the weekend's two races with a lap of 1:05.71.
Kelly took advantage of the pole position to grab the lead off the start and led the opening four laps before a stuck throttle forced him out of the race. Kelly was able to bounce back on Sunday with a 10th place finish but was forced to wonder "what if" – particularly after teammate Michael Caruso was able to take the Altima to victory lane here last year.
“This weekend for us was the time where we wanted to turn around our fortune and our pace," Kelly said.
"While we haven’t turned around our fortune, race one showed that we could produce good pace. In race two I locked the front into turn one and lost a couple of spots, which would've had us fighting in the middle of the top 10.
"Ticking those qualifying and outright pace boxes is good. So we can head to Townsville with our head a little bit higher."
Kelly and teammates, brother Todd Kelly; Michael Caruso and Simona De Silvestro now set their sights on the Townsville street circuit on July 8-9.
HIGH RES DOWNLOADS
Latest high res imagery previewing this weekend's Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup and reviewing last weekends' Virgin Australia Supercar Championship.
Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Yokohama Global Nissan HQ where you can see the full history of the Nissan GT-R and much more on NISMO.TV.
Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, Circuit Paul Ricard, France
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Watkins Glen, New York, USA
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Ontario, Canada
Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Townsville, Queensland, Australia