Having utilised the first three rounds of the VLN Endurance Championship to prepare for the legendary event, KCMG returns to the Eifel region confident it can score a strong result after running many laps of the 25.95 km circuit to improve the performance of its cars.
The drivers are ready to take on the challenge of the fearsome venue, where KCMG has raced in all manner of conditions during its preparations in VLN, including snowfall.
Super Formula and Super GT star Joao Paulo de Oliveira is one of the drivers to recently obtain the special license required to race at the Nürburgring, as has Josh Burdon who has impressed during KCMG’s 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge programme, also running a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.
They are joined in the #38 car by Nordschleife specialists Philip Wlazik and Christian Menzel, whose vast combined experience has assisted with the development of the car throughout the opening VLN rounds.
In the #39 machine, Christian’s son Nico returns after his maiden outing at VLN 3. The 2016 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion is once again joined by FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 racer Matthieu Vaxiviere and another Nürburgring expert Christer Jöns.
2016 GT Asia champion Edoardo Liberati is also joining from the IGTC line-up having recently acquired his Nürburgring license. The Italian was one of the drivers in contention for a Bathurst 12 Hour podium with KCMG earlier this year.
Free Practice and Qualifying 1 will take place on Saturday 18 May, with Qualifying 2 and the six-hour race on Sunday, which will determine who gains an entry to the 24 Hours.
In addition to the VLN Endurance Championship and Nürburgring 24 Hours, KCMG remains committed to its Intercontinental GT Challenge campaign with Nissan. The next round is the Spa 24 Hours on 25-28 July.
Joao Paulo de Oliveira, #38 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “Exciting weekend coming up. I’m looking forward to driving the car again and to be able to understand it a bit more. I have done about five laps so far, but now I’ll be able to do more mileage and make progress. We are still on a learning curve, but hopefully this race will get us to the level we want to be at for the 24 Hours.”
Josh Burdon, #38 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I’m super excited to jump back in Godzilla this weekend for the Qualification Race. The team’s development around the Nordschleife over the past months have been strong and positive so I can’t wait to get started.”
Philip Wlazik, #38 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “The Qualification Race will be a long one, two hours more than the VLN rounds we’ve been doing. I’m really happy we now have the full driver line-up for the 24 Hours to practice tyre changes and get used to the car as a team. We’re confident we can achieve a good result.”
Christian Menzel, #38 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “The last race was vital for us, as we have tested and learned a lot in the dry and wet. Now it is up to us drivers to do the kilometres and run our training routines, this race will be important for that to prepare for the 24 Hours. It’s nice to see how much the fans like KCMG, we are welcomed with open arms which is a good feeling.”
Nico Menzel, #39 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I’m eager to get back in the car after VLN 3, which was the first time for me with the team. The main target is to collect data, especially in the warmer track conditions as the previous VLN rounds were really cold and mostly rainy. It’s good to have the full line-up in the car so we can sort out everything before the big one. We have fewer competitors than before and two hours more driving, there’s only 100 cars on the track instead of 190 so that’s good for us drivers to concentrate on the track, get some mileage, hopefully with fewer incidents and yellow flags. I think it will be a good one.”
Matthieu Vaxiviere, #39 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I’m really looking forward to start working with the full driver line-up for the 24 Hours. I also can’t wait to discover the Grand Prix track in its entirety and the atmosphere of the Nürburgring 24 Hours.”
Christer Jöns, #39 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “We are all looking forward to the Qualification Race to finalise our preparation for the marathon 24 Hours next month. KCMG has worked hard during the last few weeks to optimise the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 in detail. I cannot wait to get back into the car and work with the team.”
Edoardo Liberati, #39 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I’m excited to be driving the car after I have successfully completed the mandatory VLN races with other cars to get the ‘A Permit’. The Nissan has been developed very well by the KCMG crew in these three races, having tested on the Nordschleife in both wet and dry conditions, so I expect us to be ready to aim for a strong result.”
Paul Ip, KCMG Founder: “It’s been a long road to this point but we are finally knocking on the door of the 24 Hours with the Qualification Race this weekend. Everything we have done to improve the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, which the drivers and team have put a lot of effort into, will now be put to the test against our competitors. We have an incredible line-up for this event and I wish them the best ahead of the Qualification Race.”
Source. KCMG/Photo. Swoosh Communications