KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) wound up its preparations for the Nürburgring 24 Hours with a productive VLN weekend at the Nordschleife, in which the #39 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 recorded the fastest lap and drivers Joshua Burdon, Edoardo Liberati and João Paulo de Oliveira successfully acquired their Nürburgring permits.
Two KCMG Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 were in action at the legendary Eifel circuit, with Christer Jöns, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Nico Menzel driving the #39 car, as Christian Menzel and Philip Wlazik piloted the #38 machine, which was primarily used for testing.
Meanwhile, Burdon, Liberati and Oliveira were in action in the various Cup classes, where they all completed the necessary laps to obtain their permits, allowing them to race for KCMG in the Nissan at the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
Having completed some practice on Friday, the pace of the GT-R was immediately realised, as the #39 machine went seventh fastest in qualifying, with the changeable conditions worsening during the build-up to the four-hour race.
Nordschleife veteran Jöns took the wet start, focusing on keeping the car on track before handing over to Vaxiviere. The track conditions changed again and KCMG opted to try the slick tyres, but the rain continued and the Frenchman had to switch back to the wet-weather Michelins.
During Nico Menzel’s final stint the circuit gradually dried up and the German, now running on slick rubber again, crossed the finish line 12th in the SP9 Pro class and collected the fastest lap of the race, demonstrating KCMG will be right in the mix at the all-important 24 Hours.
Next up is the six-hour Qualifying Race on 18-19 May, where KCMG will make its final preparations for the blue-riband Nürburgring 24 Hours on 20-23 June.
Christer Jöns, #39 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “Another exciting race day on the Nordschleife for us. The changing weather conditions have been good practice for the 24 Hours and KCMG managed it very well. The Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, with our Michelin tyres, was really nice to drive. We are looking forward to the Qualifying Race to further our preparations.”
Matthieu Vaxiviere, #39 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “It was great to meet the team and discover the Nürburgring atmosphere. The qualifying was quite good, we improved the car throughout the weekend and we are looking good for the 24 Hours. It was wet during my stint so I took time in improving my pace in those conditions and to understand the car. The Nissan is very good in the dry, we have some work to do to optimise it for the wet, but overall it was a positive weekend.”
Nico Menzel, #39 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I felt comfortable in the car and very welcomed by the team. It was very positive for me, my first time in the Nissan on Friday and I quickly felt confident. We had every weather possible during race day, it was good to experience it all and I’m happy with how it went. We need to make a couple of small changes, but nothing major, before we’re ready for the six-hour Qualifying Race.”
Christian Menzel, #38 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “Finally we were able to drive many laps this weekend. Friday was very productive, we learned a lot about the car under dry conditions and improved it considerably. In heavy rain we have areas to improve. I like how well the team works, we have good engineers and the mechanics know exactly what they are doing – it’s a pleasure to work with this team.”
Philip Wlazik, #38 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “The weather conditions made it really tough. Qualifying was tricky because of the damp track, but we made good progress with our set-up programme. The rain in the race was quite heavy so we struggled with the set-up. Thank you to the team, the mechanics did a brilliant job and now we can focus on the six-hour race before the big one. We have our line-up confirmed and I’m very confident in the pace of the car.”
Joshua Burdon: “I am happy to have finally completed the Nürburgring permit and feel privileged to have secured my seat with KCMG for the Qualifying Race and Nürburgring 24 Hour. This place is amazing and I can’t wait to get started.”
João Paulo de Oliveira: “We had a great time this weekend. It was really helpful to have done VLN 3. I got my licence, which was the most important thing, but I also scored a podium in Porsche Cup, so a little bonus there! We ran the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 on Friday and got some set-up work done, which helped me understand the car and track a little bit more. I really enjoyed the experience and I’m now looking forward to the Qualifying Race. Every time we come here we learn a bit more. There’s a big challenge coming up but I think we are going to be ready for it.”
Edoardo Liberati: “I am really happy to have finally completed my laps to get the permit. I’m looking forward to driving for KCMG in the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 at the Qualifying Race.”
Paul Ip, KCMG Founder: “Our team did a fantastic job this weekend in maximising the preparations ahead of the Qualifying Race and 24 Hours. The feedback from all of our drivers has been very important in improving the performance of the Nissan around the Nordschleife and we can be delighted with the steps forward we made this weekend. It’s also great to see that Josh, Edoardo and João Paulo have got their permits and will be ready to fight for the team at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. We’ve come a long way and the potential is certainly there.”
Source. KCMG/Photo. Swoosh Communications
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