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KCMG HAPPY WITH NISSAN GT-R PERFORMANCE IN VLN 1 AT NURBURGRING

KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) made its Nurburgring-Nordschleife race debut in the opening VLN round last weekend, and was pleased with the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3’s performance as the squad focused on preparations for the Nurburgring 24 Hours (20-23 June).

Looking ahead to the blue-riband twice-around-the-clock event at the legendary Nordschleife, KCMG fielded a Nissan GT-R for drivers Christian Menzel, Alex Buncombe, Alex Fontana and Philipp Wlazik in the four-hour opening VLN round.

After running through set-up and race simulations during practice, Menzel immediately showed pace on board the #38 machine, going fourth early on in qualifying, which was delayed due to the low-lying fog around the 26-km circuit.

Focusing on track time for the remainder of the session, the squad didn’t attempt to improve on its time and lined up 26th for the race.

German driver Menzel, who has an impressive 25 Nurburgring 24 Hours appearances under his belt, took the start and produced a 8:06.776 on only his second lap, which was amongst the quickest at that time.

Running to a programme of four laps per driver, fellow Nordschleife ace Wlazik then took over completing a smooth stint before handing over to debutant Buncombe. The 2015 Blancpain GT Endurance Series champion has experience at this circuit with the Nissan GT-R, and showed strong and consistent pace across his run, with Fontana taking the car to the chequered flag.

Next for KCMG is the California 8 Hours this weekend (28-30 March), before the team returns to the VLN for round two on 13 April, with the driver line-up to be announced closer to the date.

Christian Menzel: “What a weekend! That was again typical of the Eifel – because of the fog in the morning our driving time was very limited. But we made 100% of it, all the drivers did important kilometres, and the changes to the set-up were very positive. As always, everything was without stress and we worked very analytically – that’s the way it has to be. I am very satisfied with our work in the KCMG team, I am looking forward to VLN 2.”

Alex Buncombe: “We had a very productive VLN 1 and learnt a lot about the car and the tyres. We treated the weekend as a test, and now we have found a good balance in the car we can hopefully be in the mix for a strong result for VLN 2.”

Alex Fontana: “I am satisfied with how the first weekend with KCMG went. I jumped in the Nissan GT-R for the first time during qualifying but I immediately felt confident with the handling of the car. I believe we worked very well considering we didn’t have a lot of time at our disposal. All four drivers and the engineers made some clear set-up changes that eventually made the car quite competitive. I’m looking forward to keep going on this project.”

Philipp Wlazik: “VLN 1 showed us how the typical Eifel weather can quickly change the whole plan but we adapted our programme to the shorter race distance and used this more as a test to give all drivers some experience here and build their confidence. The lap times showed the speed of our Nissan already and now we can go to in-depth set-up work with the help of the data collected.”

Paul Ip, KCMG Founder: “We treated this first race as a test and are happy with the progress made during the weekend. It’s great to have someone with so much experience like Christian Menzel in our ranks, as we can learn a lot from his input. Philipp Wlazik, Alex Buncombe and Alex Fontana also did good jobs, using their own knowledge of the Nurburgring to give constructive feedback on how the car feels. Obviously we aren’t looking at the result, but having KCMG and Nissan at this legendary circuit is something special and we look forward to making more gains in the build up to the Nurburgring 24 Hours.”

Source. KCMG/Photo. Swoosh Communications

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