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PODIUM SUCCESS IN JAPAN AND MORE POINTS FOR NISSSAN GT-R NISMO GT3 IN THE BLANCPAIN SPRINT SERIES

MRS GT Racing drivers, Craig Dolby and Sean Walkinshaw added to their Blancpain GT Sprint Series points haul with a top-ten finish in the feature race at Moscow Raceway on Saturday – but both drivers felt the speed of their New Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 was stunted by the Balance of Performance (BoP) they were required to run.mrs nissan

The Britons had to race with 25kg of ballast in Russia – the heaviest their #73 car has been all season – and also suffered with a reduction in turbo boost pressure at low revs. That hampered their acceleration out of the low speed corners and compromised their speed on the circuit’s long straight.

In qualifying, the duo were left feeling frustrated when they placed ‘Godzilla’ 14th on the grid, before only being able to make up two places during the 36-lap qualifying race that followed. But Sean, the fast-emerging 22-year-old that is competing as part of JRM’s exclusive Driver Development Programme in 2015, did bring some cheer by posting the third fastest lap time during the race.

The feature race proved to be another source of frustration for Sean and Craig, with Sean getting unceremoniously bumped off the track early on. Although Craig, JRM’s PRO and driver coach, guided the #73 New Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 to the fastest lap of the race, he and Sean were unable to climb any higher than 10th in the points standings at the chequered flag – a result that did however ensure they scored some valuable championship points.

Craig said: “It hasn’t been an easy weekend and I think we were unlucky in qualifying. But there are lots of positives we can take from Moscow. Scoring points is always a good thing in a competitive series like Blancpain and setting the fastest lap gives us some heart. We’ve learned more about the car this weekend and underlined how much potential there is in our whole team.”

Sean said: “We struggled a bit in practice and, as drivers, probably didn’t hook it up as best we could in qualifying, but the races were really tough because we couldn’t overtake with BoP. We were getting stuck behind cars and that was frustrating because we know the Nissan is quick.”

James Walters, JRM Partnership Manager, said: “We didn’t think BoP was at all fair this weekend. Although we were fastest in the second race, there was no way we could have matched the qualifying times of the top cars. We were the heaviest we’ve ever been and that didn’t make a lot of sense. We’re going to be talking to SRO in the coming days to look at a favourable way in which we can resolve our BoP issue.”

The latest round of the Blancpain GT Sprint Series also featured the New Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 of Nissan GT Academy Team RJN who fielded Mark Shulzhitskiy and Nick Hammann in the PRO-AM class.

The team, winners of the last Blancpain GT Endurance round at Paul Ricard, raced hard and managed to claim third place in the PRO-AM standings by finishing 14th overall on track in their #23 machine.

Elsewhere in Europe, the New Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 was also in action at the latest round of the ADAC GT Masters at Lausitzring this weekend.

However, the #22 car of Dominic Jöst and Florian Scholze and the #23 machine of Marc Gassner and Florian Strauss were withdrawn from the event by MRS GT Racing before qualifying got underway.

Both cars had been first and second fastest during the second of Friday morning’s free practice sessions, but the Balance of Performance (BoP) ruling that followed severely hampered their pace after that and MRS felt that was unfair.

A team statement said: “Unfortunately, we have taken the hard decision to withdraw from this weekend’s ADAC GT Masters at Lausitzring. We had to face quite a few unfavourable decisions with the Balance of Performance this season already and it seems that some competitors and no match with the competitiveness of our drivers and our Nissan.

“We are absolutely certain our manifold pressure is underneath the compulsory limits, but we do not want to give in to further arbitrary decisions that could result in unwanted consequences.”

At the third round of the Super Taikyu series in Japan, the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 filled two places on the podium after a successful weekend of racing at Fuji Speedway.

Competing in the ST-X class (the Japanese equivalent to GT3), the Kondo Racing GT-R that was piloted by Min Hoshino, Cheng Chang Fujii and Akira Makoto completed the 246-lap race in second place.

And to add to Nissan’s success on home soil, Shirai Takeshi, Aoki Takayuki and Fujinami Kiyoto guided their identical Team Mach with Makers GT-R to third place in the final standings. Takayuki also set the fatest lap of the race during his stint behind the wheel.

Source. JRM Group

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