June 3, 2013


Blancpain Endurance Series Race Report

Silverstone, GBR (June 2, 2013) - Nissan GT Academy Team RJN took victory in the Pro-Am class of the Blancpain Endurance Series race at Silverstone on Sunday. The win for the #35 YouTube Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 is the first class victory for Nissan in the Blancpain Series, made all the more sweet as it took place at the home of GT Academy.

With sweet often comes sour and Silverstone was no exception as the #32 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 retired in the late stages of the race with a technical fault.

Qualifying took place on Sunday morning and a stunning lap from Alex Buncombe put the #35 into second place on the grid alongside the factory Aston Martin Racing entry in pole position. Starting honors were Lucas Ordonez' today and the Spaniard went head-to-head with Aston Martin's double Le Mans winner Darren Turner. A brilliant start from Lucas saw him take the lead on the first lap.

“As we came around for the rolling start I kept my eye on Darren's wing mirror so I made sure I didn't go ahead of him before the race went green”, explained Lucas. “I made a good getaway and managed to go around the outside into the first corner. After that I tried hard to pull away but I also had to make sure I looked after my tires.”

In the meantime, the #32 GT-R had more of a drama-filled start as Wolfgang Reip tried to make up ground from 33rd place on the grid. An accident in front of him caused confusion and the Belgian had to make an early pitstop for some quick bodywork repairs. He rejoined further down the field but was soon setting competitive lap times.

After 13 laps of keeping the Aston Martin at bay Lucas lost out to a backmarker and Turner swept past into the lead, hotly pursued by the Nissan. Lucas pitted after an hour of racing to hand over to 2012 GT Academy Germany winner Peter Pyzera. The German was immediately on the pace of the Pro cars but unfortunately received a drive-through penalty for overtaking under yellow flags. This dropped the #35 to the bottom of the top ten but Peter held onto the top spot in Pro-Am.

Steve Doherty took the wheel of the #32 machine for the second stint and, like his fellow GT Academy winners, put in a professional performance as he tried to bring the GT-R back up the order. He made good progress before handing the car over to Mark Shulzhitskiy.

“I went out into the race and did one lap where everything was okay,” said Mark. “Then on my second lap I suddenly lost power. I thought I could get back to the pits but then I saw smoke so I pulled over by a fire marshal. It's a shame to end with a technical problem.”

The cause of the problem will be diagnosed once the car arrives back at the RJN workshop.

Alex Buncombe took the final stint in the remaining GT-R and brought it home safely in 10th place overall but in first place in the Pro-Am class.

“The car was fantastic to drive today,” said his teammate Lucas. “It was very well balanced and I really enjoyed having a good battle out there, even when I was having to guess the racing lines of some of the backmarkers. I feel very motivated now and this is great timing as the next race for us is Le Mans!”

Lucas definitely had it all hooked up today as he recorded the fastest lap during the race. From a grid of nearly 60 cars, among which 20 were full Pro entries, that is no mean feat.

Click images above to see larger versions.


Blancpain Endurance Series Pro-Am class
Pos No Machine Driver Laps Time / Behind
1 35 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 Ordonez/ Pyzera /Buncombe 86 3:03'34.141
2 180 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Poole/Osborne/Abra 85 1Lap
3 25 BMW Z4 Hassid/Badey 85 1Lap
4 78 Lamborghini LP560-4 Grasser/Proczyk/Tweraser 85 1Lap
5 230 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 Al Masaood/Bateman/Bell 84 2Laps
6 50 Ferrari 458 Italia Hommerson/Machiels/Bertolini 84 2Laps
7 123 Ferrari 458 Italia Tsyplakov/Kruglik/Gianmaria 84 2Laps
8 43 BMW Z4 Cerruti/Comandini/Biagi 84 2Laps
9 19 Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 Morley/Lebed/Tappy 84 2Laps
10 88 McLaren MP4-12C Price/Grogor/Barff 84 2Laps
- 32 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 Shulzhitskiy/ Doherty /Reip 54 32Laps
Blancpain Endurance Series Pro class
Pos No Machine Driver Laps Time / Behind
1 97 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Turner/Makowiecki/Mücke 86 3:01'36.007
2 1 Audi R8 LMS Ultra Ortelli/Vanthoor/Rast Belgian 86 20.981
3 13 Audi R8 LMS Ultra Stippler/Sandstrom/Mies Belgian 86 55.516
4 23 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 Luhr/Kane/Dumbreck 86 1'15.101
5 4 BMW Z4 Palttala/Catsburg/Mose 86 1'15.354
6 44 Ferrari 458 Italia Ramos/Rigon/Zampieri 86 1'15.548
7 7 McLaren MP4-12C Sims/Dusseldorp/Parente 86 1'18.263
8 2 Audi R8 LMS Ultra Mayr-Melnhof/Frey/Halliday 86 1'33.309
9 16 Audi R8 LMS Ultra Ide/Kumpen/Winkelhock 86 1'34.091
10 69 McLaren MP4-12C Caroll/Verdonck/Bell 85 1Lap

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