GT Sport Motul Team RJN has its sights set on replicating Nissan’s impressive GT-R performances in the South of France when the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup heads to Circuit Paul Ricard for the annual 1000km battle this weekend.
The Le Castellet circuit has been a happy hunting ground for Nissan in recent years with the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 finishing fifth in the past two years in a row.
Nissan scored its first overall GT3 Blancpain victory here in 2015 and also triumphed in the GT1 World Championship back in 2011 with a pair of race wins.
GT Sport Motul Team RJN enter the third round of the championship after showing strong pace at Silverstone. The No. 23 2018-spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 of Lucas Ordóñez, Alex Buncombe and Matt Parry fought back from a qualifying penalty to finish 16th after starting 48th.
The No. 22 Silver Cup entry of Struan Moore, Ricardo Sanchez and Jordan Witt scored their first podium of the season with a third-place finish in the class.
“The Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 has proven its pace here at Paul Ricard in the past, and we’ll be racing the 2018-spec car here for the first time – it will be interesting to see how it compares to the older car,” Buncombe said.
“We’ve shown good pace in the first two rounds of the season, but we’ve been pretty unlucky both at Monza and Silverstone.”
The Paul Ricard 1000km is the second longest race of the season and first where teams will also do battle after sunset.
“We’re very excited about Paul Ricard as this has been a great track for us in the past and they have resurfaced the track which should help tire wear,” Ordóñez said.
“We’re looking forward to a perfect weekend. The Blancpain Championship is so competitive that you can’t put a foot wrong at all – Q1, Q2 and Q3 – you need to maximise every session to grab a top 10 qualifying spot and be in contention for a podium.
“This is the first long race of the year, and we’re finishing in the night which I absolutely love – I can’t wait to get things started.”
Practice and pre-qualifying will be held on Friday with qualifying scheduled for 9:40 am local time. The 1000km race goes green at 5:45 pm CET.
Source. Nissan/Photo. John Patterson