KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) returns to the Nordschleife with two Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 cars for its maiden Nürburgring 24 Hours (20-23 June), where it aims to repeat the success it had in the ADAC Qualification Race in May.
The Eifel-held event marks the third 24-hour race for KCMG in 2019, following strong showings in Dubai and Fuji, with the fourth and final one coming at next month’s Intercontinental GT Challenge round at Spa-Francorchamps, also in the Nissan.
Utilising the opening three rounds of the VLN Endurance Championship to prepare for the legendary event paid dividends as KCMG scored a 1-2 finish in the Pro-Am class during the Qualification Race, filling the Hong Kong-based squad with confidence heading into the 24 Hours proper.
On board the class-winning #39 machine is 2016 GT Asia champion Edoardo Liberati, who also is committing to the IGTC line-up having been in podium contention at the Bathurst 12 Hour with KCMG earlier in the year.
Fresh from another 24-hour race at Le Mans last weekend, FIA World Endurance Championship driver Matthieu Vaxiviere is joined 2016 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champion Nico Menzel and Nordschleife veteran Christer Jöns.
Fellow circuit specialists Philipp Wlazik and Christian Menzel are in the #38 car. Josh Burdon also comes from the IGTC line-up with Super Formula and Super GT star Joao Paulo de Oliveira.
Track action gets underway on Thursday 20 June at 13:20 with Free Practice. Qualifying 1 is at 20:30 with the second session on Friday at 14:55. Lights out for the 47th Nürburgring 24 Hours is at 15:30 on Saturday.
Josh Burdon, #38 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I’m super excited for my first Nürburgring 24 Hours. I feel we have a solid package as a team and had good preparation heading into this event. For sure we’re not underestimating the hard work ahead, as it is the race debut for both myself and KCMG. I am very eager to get the weekend underway.”
Christian Menzel, #38 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I’m really looking forward to the event. For me, it’s the most beautiful race in the world. We have a great team spirit, everyone is happy and the team has worked very logically and calmly with the details – that has impressed me very much so far. My dream would be to get a top eight overall, but that’s not going to be easy against the works teams. But the race is very long, we have to stay cool and maybe get some luck as well.”
Philipp Wlazik, #38 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “We are all very excited for the big 24 Hours. It will be a really tough and long week for us all, and a very hard race – it’s one of the hardest endurance events you can start. But I can be confident, after our great result from the Qualification Race, that we can be on the pace. We have to look to finish but there’s also been strong improvement from the beginning of the VLN season.”
Joao Paulo de Oliveira, #38 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I have always hoped to be part of this race someday, and I’m very happy to be doing it with KCMG. We have a strong group of professionals and prepped as well as possible. It will be a big challenge to go up against the more experienced teams and drivers at Nürburgring, but if there’s one thing I enjoy it’s a good challenge. I’ll be doing my very best to give the team a strong result.”
Edoardo Liberati, #39 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “It’s time to put everything together, all the preparation, dedication and hard work of the last few months to get ready for one of the biggest races in the world. I am really excited and feeling very positive for it. KCMG has done a great job so far to prepare the cars and I can’t wait to hit the track.”
Christer Jöns, #39 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “A long and intensive period of preparation is done for KCMG. Everything is well prepared for the highlight of the year. We are all looking forward to this exciting week with our Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3. I am very happy to be part of this great project.”
Nico Menzel, #39 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “The big one is finally here! We are well prepared. I was in the workshop yesterday and saw the guys rebuilding the cars, it’s all new. Performance-wise we’ve improved a lot in VLN and the Six Hours as well. The line-up will be the same as before which is good. In the end we know each other, there’s been good team work so far and I’m sure it will be the same for the 24 Hours. The goal should be to win Pro-Am after the Qualification Race result. In general, the aim has to be realistic though. It’s the first year for the team and I didn’t foresee winning immediately against those that have been driving here for 20 years. So we should just do a zero-mistake job and see what the outcome will be.”
Matthieu Vaxiviere, #39 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “Finally it’s the 24 Hours. The VLN and Qualification Race went well for us, the car and strategy improved each time we went on track. I’m really looking forward to starting this famous event and have a good result. We have everything necessary to do well so let’s have a clean race and we’ll see what we can bring.”
Paul Ip, KCMG Founder: “The main event we’ve been building up to all year is finally here. I cannot thank the team enough for their immense efforts over the course of three VLN rounds and the Qualification Race, the pace from which we have seen is giving us high hopes for the 24 Hours. They have done an incredible job preparing the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, as have the drivers during the season. I can’t wait to see the car on track and I wish our guys the best.”
Source. KCMG/Photo. Rajan Jangda