NISMO NEWS - May 21, 2018
- Top ten performances in Suzuka Super GT
- Silver Cup podium in Blancpain GT
- Nissan Motorsport win at Winton
- Micra Cup kicks off for 2018
TOP TEN SUPER GT PERFORMANCES AS MARDENBOROUGH & SASAKI SHINE
Suzuka Circuit, Japan – Former GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough and Japanese teammate Daiki Sasaki have led the charge for Nissan in the latest Super GT round at Suzuka.
The No. 12 Team IMPUL entry qualified sixth fastest and Mardenborough gained another spot on the opening lap of the race.
The young duo had a strong, trouble-free run with Sasaki taking over after 24 laps from Mardenborough, who was up to third place as pit stops commenced.
The iconic Calsonic-sponsored machine eventually crossed the line in fourth place, but not before Sasaki fought off a last corner lunge from the No. 36 Lexus which out-braked himself, causing contact and forcing both cars off track.
“The pass on the opening lap might have looked easy, but it was actually a really tough fight,” Mardenborough said.
“I managed to raise us up a few positions and our pit stop, along with Daiki’s stint were really good.
“It’s disappointing that we only just missed out on a podium but I think the team is in really good form, so we will be aiming for even better in the next round.”
Ronnie Quintarelli and Tsugio Matsuda pulled off a strong comeback drive to finish sixth after starting at the back of the grid. Battling with a heavy weight penalty and fuel flow restriction as the championship leaders, the No. 23 Motul NISMO machine climbed as high as fifth place in the late stages.
Both drivers were impressive in traffic with Quintarelli making a move around the outside of both the No. 3 NDDP Racing with B-Max and Kondo Racing Nissan GT-R’s at the Suzuka hairpin.
“Today, the opening lap was really good. I just had two chances in the first lap and could overtake two cars,” Quintarelli said.
“With the fuel restrictor, the pace was not good, but in the traffic I managed to overtake two cars. I enjoyed the stint even if it was very tough.
“To finish the race in P6 is really amazing. Honestly, I'm happier than the victory in Fuji.
“Now, we will have more than one month before Thailand, so we can prepare ourselves and put ourselves in the best position to score points because our target is the championship."
The Satoshi Motoyama/Katsumasa Chiyo and JP de Oliveira/Mitsunori Takaboshi combinations both completed top tens for Nissan in seventh and ninth place respectively.
Super GT will head to Thailand next month for round four of the championship on June 30-July 1.
GT SPORT MOTUL TEAM RJN SCORE SILVER PODIUM IN BLANCPAIN GT
Silverstone, Towcester, England – The Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 has climbed the podium for the first time in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup this year with GT Sport Motul Team RJN claiming third place in the Silver Cup at Silverstone.
Ricardo Sanchez, Struan Moore and Jordan Witt took third in class in the team’s home race.
Silverstone is the home circuit for four of the six GT Sport Motul Team RJN drivers while for former GT Academy winners Sanchez and Lucas Ordóñez – Silverstone feels like home; this is the venue where they won their respective “gamer to racer” titles.
The result came after the No. 22 GT-R had to fight back from a penalty for exceeding track limits – the trio pushing the Nissan to the limit to chase their first podium of 2018
“I'm really happy to be back on the podium, especially at Silverstone,” Sanchez said.
“It was very tough, physically. I would say one of the toughest stints of my life, it was really hot and I didn't put water in the car to save time on the pit stop.
“The guys did a mega job on the stop. The balance of the car was there and it was easy to drive and predictable. Struan and Jordan also did a great job and we can’t wait for the next round at Paul Ricard where the GT-R should be even stronger.”
The No. 23 Pro entry of Alex Buncombe, Matt Parry and Lucas Ordóñez pulled out a great fightback to cross the line in 16th place.
A qualifying penalty for “incorrect starting procedure after a red flag” actually forced the 2018-spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 back to P48 on the grid.
Buncombe impressed in the opening stint, gaining 23 positions before handing off to Parry. Both he and Ordóñez again excelled with the Spaniard actually reeling off a series of fastest laps right at the start of his stint.
The Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup now heads to the south of France to Circuit Paul Ricard for round three of the championship on June 1-2.
NISSAN AND RICK KELLY CLAIM SUPERCARS VICTORY AT WINTON
Winton Motor Raceway, Victoria, Australia – Rick Kelly and Nissan scored the brand’s third ever Virgin Australia Supercars Championship victory at Winton Motor Raceway with a stunning late-race charge.
Kelly took advantage of a late restart to pounce on Scott McLaughlin to take the win after impressively qualifying fourth for Saturday’s race.
Michael Caruso also excelled in the opening race of the weekend with a top six finish.
"What a fantastic result for the whole team,” Kelly said.
“We were able to convert the speed we produced in qualifying to maximise the afternoon. But it certainly was a tough race and very tense at the end.
“We managed to put in good laps early and then make the pass when we needed. This result is for everyone in the team that has worked very hard and will hopefully generate momentum into the next part of the season.”
Kelly and Caruso backed up that speed for Sunday’s race to cross the line in fourth and fifth place respectively.
"We got a good start and spent the early part of the race in second,” Caruso said.
“It’s a shame we weren’t able to hold onto it. It’s been a solid weekend with two good results for my car, so we’ll head to Darwin now and enjoy the sun.”
Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway is next on the agenda for Nissan Motorsport on June 15-17 – another circuit where the Nissan Altima has been to victory lane.
BEDARD AND KING SHARE VICTORIES IN MICRA CUP
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Ontario, Canada – Two-time Micra Cup Champion Olivier Bedard and front-runner Kevin King have claimed the opening two races of the season in wildly contrasting conditions at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Bedard took Saturday’s race as teams battled sun, rain and dense fog at the circuit formerly known as Mosport.
The 2015 and 2017 series champ led home Normand Boyer and Kevin King.
Five cars exchanged places at the front of the pack in Sunday’s race with King taking the victory over Bedard with Valerie Limoges taking the final podium spot.
Both races – along with the Super GT and Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup events – were live-streamed by Nissan as part of NISMO.tv’s Super Streaming Weekend.
The third and fourth rounds of the 2018 season will be held on June 2-3 at Calabogie Motorsport Park, southwest of Ottawa, Ontario.
The 2018 championship will again feature 12 races staged over six weekends across the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
HIGH RES DOWNLOADS
Download images from last week's Super GT round in Suzuka, Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup at Silverstone and Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at Winton Motor Raceway.
Take a look at the highlights from the Suzuka Super GT round. Click below to view.
- Pirelli World Challenge, Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, CT, USA
- Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, Circuit Paul Ricard, France
- Le Mans Test Day, Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France
- IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Belle Isle, Detroit, MI, USA
- Nissan Micra Cup, Calabogie Motorsports Park, OT, Canada