Nissan GT3 GT-R's finish in 10th and 12th in First Round of Blacpain Endurance Series
The first round of the Blacpain Endurance series is over with the Nissan GT3 GT-R's from JRM Racing finishing in 12th position in the PRO class, and in 10th spot in the PRO-AM class. The second round of the series is at Silverstone Circuit in the UK in June.
14 April 2013 – JRM Racing finished its Blancpain Endurance Series debut race in 12th position in the PRO class and 10th in the PRO-AM class today at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in Italy. The trio of Peter Dumbreck, Lucas Luhr and Steven Kane in the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 #23 and the #230 of Matt Bell, Charles Bateman and Humaid Al Masaood were reliable throughout the entire weekend.
Another bright and sunny day welcomed the team to the track. The Qualifying session took place in the morning, with all three drivers of both cars #23 and #230 going out to set a time. Peter Dumbreck in the #23 set a fastest time of 1:49.484 to put the car 14th in class on the grid for the race. Matt Bell's fastest lap (1:49.697) meant the #230 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 started the race 16th in PRO-AM class.
Peter and Humaid both got off to a good start and completed the first lap safely, staying out of trouble. Both the #23 and #230 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 cars soon started to climb up the field and gain places. At the end of his stint Peter had gained a total of 28 laps and was running at a very good pace. After an hour, both Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3's pitted, with Peter handing the #23 over to Lucas and Charles getting into the #230 after Humaid had completed the first 32 laps of the race.
Exactly halfway through the race the Safety Car was deployed and on that same lap Lucas had to pit due to a puncture. Unfortunately Lucas lost the positions he had gained, but as soon as he rejoined the race he got up to speed and started recovering positions. Meanwhile, the #230 with Charles at the wheel of the car was running at a constant pace in mid-field.
Steven and Matt were at the wheel of the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 for the final hour of the race. They drove consistently to the end and brought both the #23 and #230 cars home safely, demonstrating great reliability.
The second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series championship will take place at the beginning of June in Silverstone.
Peter Dumbreck, Car #23:
“It hasn't been the best of starts for us, but this is only our first race with the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3. The first lap of the race was always going to be very busy and I was right in the middle of it. To be honest, I think everyone was trying to take it easy and nobody really did anything too stupid. We got through without any problems and I was soon able to pass some cars and bring us up a bit. I looked after the tyres well and during the second half of my stint I seemed to be able to catch the cars in front, so I just had my head down and had a little bit of space behind me, so I was able to push and catch the cars up. I got caught out with one of the lapped cars and lost a couple of places, but I was pitting the next lap anyway so it didn't cost me much. It's a shame that we pitted at the same time as the cars next door – it cost us a bit of time. But it was a good stint during which we gained a lot of places. The car has a great straight line speed and is quick in the fast corners, even though we've got some work to do in the slow corners.”
Lucas Luhr, Car #23:
“It hasn't been the best of days as we were struggling with the set-up and we were lacking a bit of pace during the race. We also had a problem with my tyre which didn't help as I had to do an extra pit-stop when the Safety Car was out on track... Overall we still have some work to do. I am sure we will get there and this is only our first race of the Championship, but it's just a little bit frustrating as the car has a lot of potential and we were very quick down the straights.”
Steven Kane, Car #23:
“It was a very hot race. It was great to finally get out there. We struggled a bit this weekend but I think we've got a lot of good areas to work on. It's a learning curve for the whole team and we just have to take it one step at a time. We're still learning and I think the performance is in there, we just need to drag it out.”
Matt Bell, Car #230:
“It was a tough race and also a physical challenge. It was a shame that we lost some time during our second pit-stop, but despite that we still came out in P11. Definitely things to work on in order to get to the front, but we will keep working.”
Charles Bateman, #230:
“The first race is always good because you get to see where the competition are. Humaid had a good start and he handed the car over to me in a good position. My stint was difficult – I probably didn't get two laps in a row where there wasn't a yellow flag, or a Safety Car, or someone spinning in front of me... So it wasn't easy. We managed fairly well even though at the end we were struggling a bit with the tyres and we lost some time during the pit-stop when I was handing the car over to Matt, we can't forget that this is only our first weekend and I am sure we will improve and come back much stronger.”
Humaid Al Masaood, Car #230:
“I had never driven here at Monza before this weekend and as I was starting the race everyone was warning me about how tricky the start can be, specially with this many cars on the grid. It was very tricky, with a few incidents on the first lap, but I managed to stay out of trouble – I really had my eyes open at the start! I made sure I got into a good position and held it without getting involved in any trouble. It was a difficult start but I soon felt comfortable in the car, so that gives me a lot more confidence. During the hour stint I tried to manage the tyres the best I could. Overall I think the car is coming along very nicely, it was feeling very good. I just need to become a bit more familiar with it, but I think we did very well.”
Nigel Stepney, Team Manager and Chief engineer:
“It hasn't been the start to the season we were hoping for, but we've learned a lot over the weekend. The Blancpain Endurance Series are proving to be a very competitive championship. Our qualifying made the race very difficult and things just didn't go our way. We've got to look at the positives – we have demonstrated once again that the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 is a reliable car and we have plenty of data to go through and this will only make us better. All six drivers did an excellent job on track and we will come back stronger and better for the next race in Silverstone.”
James Rumsey, Team Principal:
“This is only our first race weekend and it’s good to start it in such a reliable way. The Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 has proven once again that it's not only fast but reliable. We had very high expectations and even though the race didn't end as we thought it would, we can be satisfied with our job this weekend. We have some work to do during the following weeks but the car is fast and the drivers worked well together for the first time and held a good fight out on track. Unfortunately Lucas had to pit because of a puncture, so we lost some time, but all in all it’s been an interesting weekend for us and we just need to carry on working as hard as we already are. The team has done an excellent job throughout the weekend and I am confident that the results will soon be even better.”
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