After a spectacular opening to the 2012 Spa 24 hours, the GT Academy RJN Motorsport team were forced to retire from the race with undiagnosed electrical issues.
Having qualified in 41st on Thursday the team had plenty of work to do, but Alex Buncombe’s opening stint was exactly what was needed – gaining eight places to 33rd before handing over to Jann Mardenborough for the second hour. Jann – who’d never driven Spa before this weekend- immediately picked up where Alex had left off, gaining another 13 places in the next hour to put the big Nissan GT-R in 20th overall, running times equal to the top three cars.
Spa’s traditional weather intervened at that point and Jann was called in for a quick switch to wet tyres, but the car suddenly developed an electrical issue reminiscent of their Silverstone round of the Blancpain Endurance Series and the team pulled it into the garage.
The fault remained untraced but the car eventually got going again with Chris Ward, only to cut out two laps later halfway round the track at Radillon, forcing retirement.
Bryan Heitkotter’s excellent pole position didn’t prevent his race being brought to Earth in a similarly premature manner at Indianapolis. A first lap incident saw the Doran Racing 370Z lose position but, through torrential rain and red flags, Bryan and teammate BJ Zacharias brought the car home 10th overall.
Images courtesy of Nissan, Grand-Am and Red Square Images.
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