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New and old faces were behind the wheel of the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 at the final round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup for GT Sport Motul Team RJN.

Jann Mardenborough returned to Blancpain action for the first time since Silverstone in 2015, filling in for the injured Lucas Ordonez.

Young Scottish star Colin Noble made his GT debut at Barcelona after impressive performances this year with Nissan-power in LMP3 competition in the European Le Mans Series and Michelin Le Mans Cup.

Mardenborough, Alex Buncombe, and Matt Parry impressed to be eighth fastest in qualifying, but contact and two penalties early in the race ruined the chance of a strong result at the finish.

“I’m happy for the opportunity to fill in for Lucas and drive the new car at Barcelona,” Mardenborough said.

“We made quite a bit of progression over the weekend, through the practice sessions and then in qualifying; we qualified quite well considering that Barcelona is a tough track for the GT-R.

“We were looking good for the race. I think the history of the GT-R is that it’s been stronger in the race than in qualifying, but Matt had some contact, which gave us a penalty and then another penalty, which made it impossible then to get any decent results.

“After we dropped down, Alex and I passed quite a lot of cars to get up to 23rd, so there are some positives to take out of that.

“It’s been great working with the team again, with the engineers and mechanics. There a lot of the same faces from when I first started racing with RJN. It’s been great to see them.”

Ricardo Sanchez suffered brake issues early in the race for the No. 22 entry and sadly for teammate Struan Moore, the issue returned late in the race and resulted in retirement.

Noble, however, was pleased with his debut with the team and his first weekend of Blancpain GT Series action.

“It was a very positive experience! It took a few sessions to get used to the car, it’s a very different technique than I’m used to,” Noble said.

“They’re a lot heavier and a lot softer than a prototype, but once I got up to grips with the car, I was quite happy with my qualifying laps.
“It was unfortunate what happened to us in the first part of the race, so we were a few laps down when I got in.

“I was trying not to ruin the leaders’ race for the first half of my stint but then I got my head down in the second half and the times weren’t too bad.

“In LMP3, we’re second in the Michelin Le Mans Cup and sixth in ELMS. We can’t win the title in either, but we want to try and secure second in Michelin Cup. And then in ELMS, we’ve got nothing to lose, so we’re definitely going for the win in that as well.”

Source. Nissan


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