Electrical Niggles Force GT Academy Team’s Retirement at Spa

July 29th, 2012 by Famine

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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  1. Idk what a niggle is, but The Elctrical Niggles Force sound like a fantastic band name

  2. legobrainboy

    Those damn niggles always be causin’ trouble…

    • RB26 2jz

      Stupid niggles, can’t learn to go somewhere where they’re actually wanted

  3. No DLC ???? LOL

    • sumbrownkid

      Just because you said that, you get this GTR and every time you are in first place the car dies due to “niggles”.

  4. RedBullFan


  5. BrandonW77

    I was at the Indy race and didn’t even know he was racing until they announced him. I’m pretty sure he had help with the spin but he actually did a great job charging back through the field. I think he might have been as high as 7th but fell back. Got to see him make a few good passes going into turn 1. :)

    • tpark103

      That’s good stuff.

    • It was 30th to 4th in the first hour and a half. :) And yeah I had help into the spin. Glad you enjoyed the action in turn 1 – three wide many times. We had a winning car but lost out with the race control decisions surrounding the weather.

  6. mikeonthebike

    Sorry to hear about the electrical niggles.

    My dad said that word when I was working with him once and I said “you better be careful where you say that because I am sure a lot of people don’t know what it means and may take it the WRONG way”


    Cause slight but persistent annoyance, discomfort, or anxiety: “a nasty leg wound which still niggled at him”.

    A trifling complaint, dispute, or criticism: “it is an excellent book except for my few niggles”; “I have a few niggles about design”.

    • tpark103

      Term of interment: What’s up my niggle? :)

    • tpark103

      Correct(stupid IPad): term of inderment

    • RB26 2jz

      @tpark103 oh yeah stupid iPad, always havin niggles and such… Actually mine is doin a great job, no niggles in my ipad

  7. taboaamassa

    Great video about the SPA 24h.


    • A_Higher_Place

      Thank you for sharing that! The amount of rain was insane!!! I hope one day Gran Turismo will incorporate those cars with that kind of damage!


    Was funny to see the mustang driver push the car over the line to finish,thats the FORD WAY!!!!

  9. hazellnut134

    I swear that the team have accidents every race

  10. Racingworld68

    Was there to support the Nissan, it was wonderfull to see them gaining place by place in the beginning of the race, I was so dissapointed when they had to pull out. Nevertheless well done, and the car had one of the best motorsounds :tup:.
    Hope to see them again next year !

  11. ChicoMaloXD

    *Submits wishlist comment related to News article*

  12. grasso89

    What a shame. They were doing so well. Btw, Audi.tv was a great stream for the race thanks

  13. Pit Crew

    Interestingly enough, Kaz doesnt seem to have had the same issues in his GTR.

    Maybe its the teams engineers and not so much NISSAN…

    • TeamCZRRacing

      Well that was a different car entirely from the one that the GT Academy is using.

    • Pit Crew

      My point is that the engineers for Kaz GTR have a better handle on quality control, which lends to a more reliable and consistent car, whereas the team Janns racing with, after 2 races where rain has been a factor has suffered electrical “hiccups” resulting in an unworthy finish.
      I kinda blamed NISSAN in an earlier post, but in hindsight may have let Janns team engineers off the hook for their role in that GTR’s catastrophic race.

      Janns still a beast.

    • I personally know both teams. Both as good as each other. There were a lot of electrical problems with many if the teams at Spa.

  14. kemikolx

    the GTR looks awesome with those colors and that huge spoiler

    • MOTORTRENDmitch

      The GTR looks awesome because it’s actually a 370Z

    • gamerdog6482

      Despite that GT-R which is a 370Z actually being a GT-R, yes.

    • RB26 2jz

      Gamerdogs right, the GTR that’s actually a 370z that’s really a GTR is undoubtedly a GTR

  15. TokoTurismo

    *Sigh* My thoughts told me something wrong was going to happen, and look, it was right… l:\

  16. TurboProp

    They were probably too focused on the horn and getting just the right tone…

  17. Antonisbob

    It’s a Nissan… what do you expect.

  18. Two poles and still out of the top 5, that’s racing but it sucks.

  19. japlkofk69

    Do not worry ppl! That gtr will be in the next dlc with the red designs

  20. A_Higher_Place

    On another note. USA GT Academy 2nd place Sean Johnston is winning all over the place in his Porsche. He should have won that final Academy race.


    Something to do with the Cigarette Lighter

    • Private joker : did you get an invite with your 21st position to the gt academy? just wondered where the invites finished.

  22. Pit Crew

    I could be wrong but didnt it rain at “The Stone ” also? Could that be an faulty Insulation issue?

    Get it right NISSAN Janns a natural, a “Beast” in anything he drives. He and L O deserve better.

    • sumbrownkid

      It’s not Nissan’s fault they are having these issues, it’s the team just not setting them up to be reliable by being cheap most likely.

  23. dudeondacouch

    WTF are “niggles”????

    • Gremlins, annoyances, glitches, hiccups, gripes, narks…

    • GT5 Level 41

      …poorly wired electronics, corner-cutting builders, under-engineering, low quality wire… Or what famine said.

    • TheeFrogmanlego

      A highly offensive term according to urban dictionary.. and yes i have herd it been used that way before at school.

    • Quakebass

      A term commonly used in Europe. It’s not so common here in the US, which I’m assuming you’re from…

  24. tpark103

    Fudge! I guess things happen out your control in racing sometimes.

  25. Raitziger


  26. e30 freek

    I want that mclaren looks awesome in those colours

  27. gamerdog6482

    Man, that is horrible.
    When are we getting that Z in GT5?

  28. kotsiosx2010

    Better luck next time lads :(

  29. TheKitten

    Awwww Darn

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