NISMO NEWS - September 17, 2018
- First Super GT GT500 podium for GT Academy winner
- Top ten for Nissan Motorsport in Sandown Supercars
- Huge weekend for Nissan and NISMO looms
MARDENBOROUGH SCORES FIRST SUPER GT GT500 PODIUM
Sportsland Sugo, Japan – Former Nissan GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough has scored his first Super GT podium with a third-place finish at Sportsland Sugo aboard his Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500.
Teamed with Japanese racer Daiki Sasaki, Mardenborough started on the front row at Sugo and made a move for the lead at turn one on lap 22.
He held the top spot until lap 38 when he pitted to hand over to Sasaki. The Japanese racer lost the top spot while bringing his tires up to temperature and later ran off course at the final corner.
The trip through the grass hindered Sasaki’s pace, but he was able to recover to cross the line in third place after a tight battle at the end.
“Overtaking the GT300 cars was really difficult today,” Mardenborough said.
“I’ve encountered these situations a number of times up until now, but when fighting for the top spot, it becomes even more difficult.
“I’m really happy to grab my first podium finish in the GT500 class. In the next round, I want to aim for even better and grab a win.”
This was the second race in a row where Mardenborough and Sasaki demonstrated exceptional pace. The duo dominated the previous round at Fuji only to suffer a late-race technical issue.
“I pushed really hard because I wanted to catch up with the leader. Then I picked up some marbles and went off course at the final corner, and after that, it became tough to lift the pace,” Sasaki said.
“In spite of that, I drove as hard as I could, managed to fight off the No. 38 and I think I showed that we had speed. I want to ride on this momentum and take victory in the next round.”
The Sugo weekend was a strong round for all of the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 squad. All four cars finished in the top ten with JP de Oliveira and Mitsunori Takaboshi finishing sixth ahead of Ronnie Quintarelli/Tsugio Matsuda (7th) and Satoshi Motoyama/Katsumasa Chiyo (8th).
Nissan also took a podium in GT300 with Kazuki Hoshino and Hiroki Yoshida scoring second place aboard their Gainer Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.
TOP TEN FINISH FOR NISSAN MOTORSPORT IN SANDOWN 500
Sandown International Raceway, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Nissan Motorsport has secured a top 10 finish at the first Supercars endurance race of the year - the retro-themed Sandown 500.
The No. 15 Nissan of Rick Kelly and Garry Jacobson finished a strong eighth place after 161 laps, Jacobson started the race in the Castrol Altima and completed a very competitive 55 lap stint.
Kelly took over the 2002 retro-liveried entry for the remainder of the event, as he balanced aggression with fuel conservation to greet the chequered flag inside the top 10.
The result maintains Kelly’s seventh place in the Championship.
“We had the car get switched off in the pit stop, and it set the tone for the rest of race, it sent us from eighth back to 14th,” Kelly said.
“The only chance we had of getting back up was fuel saving. So we fuel saved for the whole race and got back up to eighth which was the best we could do.
“I’m happy with that, there was not much more we could do.”
Andrew Heimgartner and Aaren Russell finish 14th after a promising day on Saturday. Russell won the co-driver’s qualifying race and the duo lined-up sixth on the grid only to be turned around early in the race.
The Michael Caruso/Dean Fiore and Simona De Silvestro/Alex Rullo combinations had a tough day with the No. 23 Altima of Fiore suffered damage on lap 23 after contact with James Courtney which eliminated their chance of improving on last year’s sixth-place Sandown finish.
De Silvestro and Rullo’s day came to an end early after suffering an engine issue.
Nissan Motorsport now returns to the team’s Melbourne workshop, with attention turning to next month’s Bathurst 1000.
BUSY WEEKEND ACROSS THE GLOBE FOR NISSAN AND NISMO
A huge weekend looms with Nissan and NISMO power with major races taking place in China, Belgium, England and Canada.
The Blancpain GT Series Asia heads to China for the first of two Chinese rounds this year. The KCMG Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 team will race at Shanghai International Circuit – the home of both of China’s Formula 1 and FIA World Endurance Championship rounds.
The team will be looking to return to their race-winning form after a challenging weekend recently at the Suzuka 10-hour.
The European Le Mans Series and Michelin Le Mans Cup will do battle at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.
All LMP3 prototypes in both championships are powered by Nissan – a total of 38 cars will be on the grid.
The British GT Championship returns to Donington Park with Struan Moore back aboard the No. 24 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 for Team RJN. Moore will be joined this weekend by Chris Buncombe - brother of Nissan’s regular GT3 star Alex Buncombe.
RJN’s Nissan 370Z GT4 entry of Martin Plowman and Kelvin Fletcher enter the weekend challenging for the Pro-Am championship. The duo is only three points off the championship lead as the series begins its final weekend of the year.
The Nissan Micra Cup will crown its 2018 champions this weekend at Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Quebec in Canada.
Olivier Bedard enters the weekend in a strong position to claim his third Micra Cup crown – repeating his championship wins from 2015 and 2017.
HIGH RES DOWNLOADS
Download high res images from last weekends Super GT and Supercars rounds plus preview images for this week's British GT and Micra Cup final rounds.
Relive the highlights from last weekend's Super GT round at Sportsland Sugo where Jann Mardenborough scored his first GT500 podium with Daiki Sasaki.
- Blancpain GT Series Asia, Shanghai International Circuit, China
- European Le Mans Series, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
- Michelin Le Mans Cup, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
- Nissan Micra Cup, Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
- British GT Championship, Donington Park, England
- Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, Barcelona, Spain