July 1, 2013


Buncombe, Shulzhitskiy and Doherty second in Blancpain Endurance Series Pro-Am class
Blancpain Endurance Series Race Report

Paul Richard Circuit, France (June 30, 2013) - Alex Buncombe, Mark Shulzhitskiy and Steve Doherty took the #32 NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3 to second place in class at round three of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Paul Ricard this afternoon. Nissan GT Academy Team RJN now has a clear lead in the Pro-Am championship class.

Today's three-hour race was started under the safety car after a crash on the opening lap of the preceding Super Trofeo race claimed the life of competitor Andrea Mamé.

This was the first event with the shuffled Nismo Athlete line up and mixing up the squads has produced two equally competitive driving crews. The #35 GT-R came out on top in qualifying, taking 14th on the grid, which was fourth in the Pro-Am class, with #32 not far behind, eighth in class.

Wolfgang Reip was behind the wheel of #35 for the race start and the Belgian driver had a good run, bringing the GT-R back in one piece after an hour of hard racing. It was then Peter Pyzera's turn and he continued the good work started by Wolfie. During Peter's run he radioed in to say he had been hit by a BMW as both cars went through the hairpin but all was well with the car and he continued. Unfortunately damage had been done. It just hadn't shown itself yet.

Lucas Ordonez was up next and looking forward to a good stint after a very strong showing during the practice sessions. It wasn't to be though as, just three laps into his run, he radioed in to say he had a puncture. He pitted so that the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN crew could investigate but the puncture was a result of the earlier contact and the only option was to retire the car.

All of the team's hopes were now on the #32 Nissan GT-R. Alex Buncombe hauled the car up through the grid at the start but had to pit earlier than planned when he too got a puncture. This was a good old-fashioned puncture, most likely caused by debris on the track, so Mark Shultzhitskiy was soon on his way to join the race. An excellent run from Mark was followed by a great job from Steve Doherty who brought the GT-R home in second place in class.

“All of the drivers did a good job today,” said team boss Bob Neville. “The events of this morning were very sad and I think it was a sensible decision to start the race behind the safety car. Consistency paid off for the #32 car and it was good to see Alex, Mark and Steve on the podium, albeit for rather muted celebrations. It was a shame for the guys in #35 but the pace in that car was great so we're looking forward now to the Spa 24 Hours.”

Congratulations were in order today for the JRM Racing team who took a podium in the Pro category when Peter Dumbreck, Lucas Luhr and Steven Kane raced their NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3 to third place overall.

Nissan GT Academy Team RJN heads directly to Spa now for a one-day official test this Wednesday before heading to Zandvoort in Holland for the next round of the FIA GT Series in just a few days' time.

Click images above to see larger versions.


Blancpain Endurance Series Pro-Am class
Pos No Machine Driver Laps Time / Behind
1 5 McLaren MP4-12C Dermont / Vervich 81 3:03'54.184
2 32 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 Doherty / Shulzhitskiy / Buncombe 80 1Lap
3 78 Lamborghini LP560-4 Grasser / Tweraser / Proczyk 80 1Lap
4 123 Ferrari 458 Italia Kruglik / Tsyplakov / Gianmaria 80 1Lap
5 12 McLaren MP4-12C Goudy / Vannelet / Demoustier 80 1Lap
6 43 BMW Z4 Cerruti / Comandini / Biagi 80 1Lap
7 19 Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 Morley / Lebed / Tappy 80 1Lap
8 34 Porsche 997 GT3 R Dermont / Perera 80 1Lap
9 230 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 Al Masaood / Bateman / Bell 80 1Lap
10 116 Ferrari 458 Italia Tonelli / Barthez / Trafford 79 2Laps
- 35 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 Reip / Pyzera / Ordonez 52 29Laps
Blancpain Endurance Series Pro class
Pos No Machine Driver Laps Time / Behind
1 3 BMW Z4 Leinders / Buurman / Martin 81 3:02'09.332
2 7 McLaren MP4-12C Dusseldorp / Sims / Parente 81 7.420
3 23 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 Luhr / Kane / Dumbreck 81 42.335
4 44 Ferrari 458 Italia Rigon / Ramos /Zampieri 81 44.714
5 84 Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 Ludwig / Buhk / Day 81 46.484
6 70 Ferrari 458 Italia Skryabin / Basov / Guidi 81 54.447
7 71 Ferrari 458 Italia Ladygin / Shaitar / Aleshin 81 1'20.675
8 11 McLaren MP4-12C Leclerc / Parisy / Soucek 81 1'32.260
9 1 Audi R8 LMS Ultra Ortelli / Vanthoor / Rast 81 1'34.862
10 69 McLaren MP4-12C Verdonck / Caroll / Bell 81 1'38.102


Page Top