NISMO NEWS - OCTOBER 2, 2017
- Dramatic fightback for Motul Team RJN in Blancpain finale
- Super GT heads to Thailand
- Bathurst 1000 showdown
- Nissan ready for IMSA finale at Petit Le Mans
DRAMATIC FIGHTBACK FOR MOTUL TEAM RJN AT BLANCPAIN FINALE
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – The No. 23 Motul Team RJN Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 squad staged a dramatic fightback in the final round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
A tricky wet-dry qualifying at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was a disappointment for Alex Buncombe (UK), Katsumasa Chiyo (Japan) and Spanish former GT Academy winner Lucas Ordóñez – the team only qualifying 46th fastest for the three-hour season finale.
However, the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 went onto unleash pure speed during the race. Buncombe made a blistering start to gain 10 places on the opening lap and all three drivers made strong progress through each of their stints.
By the chequered flag, Buncombe, Chiyo and Ordóñez had made up an astonishing 33 places in the race to finish 13th overall.
"It's probably the biggest comeback I've seen recently, P46 to P13," said team boss Bob Neville.
"They just drove faultlessly, the pit stops went absolutely to the second, and we couldn't have done any better than that. We ended up scoring some team points and the race was really well driven from Chiyo-san and Lucas and Al."
The No. 22 entry of GT Academy winner Matt Simmons, Matt Parry and Struan Moore wasn't so lucky in their race.
Moore started the race and also made strong progress in the early stages before he was hit from behind by a rival just before the Barcelona chicane.
Damage to the oil cooler and floor put the Motul Team RJN crew to work to get the car back on track. The initial damage, however, kicked off a series of problems with the team also having to replace the gearbox.
Both Matt Simmons and Matt Parry got to undertake disrupted stints in the car but unfortunately, the team had to retire within sight of the chequered flag.
NEW F3 CHAMP TAKABOSHI CHASES
GT300 SUCCESS WEEK IN SUPER GT
Chang International Circuit, Thailand – The Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 squad of Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda head to Thailand this weekend with the championship lead but GT300 ace Mitsunori Takaboshi already has a championship under his belt in 2017.
After spending last season racing in Europe in the Blancpain GT Series, Takaboshi has spent 2017 racing in GT300 alongside Kazuki Hoshino as well as in Japanese Formula 3. The Japanese ace clinched the F3 title recently at the final round of the championship at Sportsland Sugo.
Takaboshi is hoping his success continues this weekend at the Super GT Championship's annual visit to Thailand. Last year, the No. 3 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 finished second in the same race with Hoshino, joined by Jann Mardenborough.
"I really wanted to get the F3 championship title because that is a very important title for my race career," Takaboshi said.
"Also, this is the first F3 title for the Nissan Driver Development Programme, I felt I needed to win the championship no matter what. Now I am really happy to have won the title.
"I did a handful of races last year and took three wins. I learned how to win that season, and I could continue the same way in 2017, which enabled me to win the championship this season."
The GT500 battle this weekend in Thailand will be critically important for Quintarelli and Matsuda. After the recent Suzuka 1000km weekend, the duo now holds an 11 point lead in the championship with only two races remaining.
The No.23 Motul-backed duo are looking to repeat their championship victories from 2014 and 2015 in the GT500 championship.
SUPER CARS ACES READY FOR BATHURST 1000 WITH NEW BRANDING
Mount Panorama, Bathurst, NSW, Australia – Nissan has revealed a striking livery that will debut at this week’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 on the No. 23 Nissan of Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore.
Nissan Australia’s partnership with BIG4 Holiday parks will be featured on Caruso and Fiore’s Altima as the pair combine for their fourth consecutive Bathurst assault as a driver pairing.
“It’s a lot of fun to show off a new looking car, and it doesn’t get much bigger than Bathurst. The whole nation is watching,” said Caruso
“I hope everyone gets behind us this weekend, we’ll be working hard to give them a great result on and off the track.”
The BIG4 Holiday Parks livery will make its debut this Thursday when Caruso and the Nissan squad begin practice ahead of Sunday’s 161 lap race.
“Bathurst is the biggest event of the year, it’s the race every driver wants to win,” said Caruso.
“We’ve had a bit of a rough season so far, but Bathurst is a long race and anything can happen. It presents the perfect opportunity to turn it all around.
“Entering our fourth Bathurst as teammates, Dean (Fiore) and I know each other really well. We believe that continuity will pay dividends.”
Nissan’s other driver combinations for the Bathurst 1000 include Rick Kelly and David Wall (No. 15), Todd Kelly and Jack Le Brocq (No. 7) and Simona de Silvestro and David Russell (No. 78).
PETIT LE MANS BATTLE TO COMPLETE 2017 IMSA SEASON WITH ESM
Road Atlanta, Atlanta, GA, USA – The Nissan-powered ESM team enters this weekend's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta aiming to finish the 2017 IMSA season on a high note.
The team will again bring in Brendon Hartley (No. 2 with Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel) and Bruno Senna (No. 22 with Pipo Derani and Johannes van Overbeek) for the final endurance race of the year - a 10-hour battle at Road Atlanta.
"I am really excited to be coming back to Road Atlanta. It’s definitely one of the most challenging and nicest tracks in our entire IMSA season," Derani said.
"Just like Sebring, this race brings another challenge of starting early in the morning and finishing at night. It’s really difficult to find a compromise on the setup, to have a quick car during the day but also at night during the final stages of the race.
"Hopefully we will roll out of the truck with a car that’s already quick, so that we can start working on fine-tuning the car for the race."
Take a look at the spectacular highlights from yesterday's Blancpain GT Series finale at Barcelona from NISMO.tv.
HIGH RES DOWNLOADS
Download images from last weekend's Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup at Barcelona and previewing this weekend's Super GT, Supercars at Bathurst and the IMSA finale at Petit Le Mans.
- Super GT, Chang International Circuit, Thailand
- IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta, Atlanta, GA, USA
- Supercars Bathurst 1000, Mount Panorama, Bathurst, NSW, Australia
- FIA WEC, Fuji International Speedway, Japan