Another Podium for GT Academy Winners at Paul Ricard

July 1st, 2013 by Andrew Evans

Not to be outdone by the exploits of Jann Mardenborough and Lucas Ordoñez at Le Mans last week, the newest Nismo Athletes scored some more track success of their own in the Blancpain Endurance Series round from Paul Ricard.

With the series’ organisers the Stephane Ratel Organisation requesting the ultra-pacey pairing of Ordoñez and unsung GT Academy lynchpin Alex Buncombe should be split into different GT-Rs, the team came into the weekend facing some uncertainty. This was quickly put to bed with excellent practice and qualifying times – the #35 car of Ordoñez, Reip and Pyzera coming out slightly ahead with a 4th in class position.

Sadly, like Le Mans last week, the race took a hit of tragedy with the death of Lamborghini Super Trofeo racer Andrea Mamé in an opening lap multiple car pile-up for the support race – and the 3 hour BES race was started under safety car conditions as a precaution.

While the initial stint for Reip was uneventful, Buncombe’s run in the #32 was truncated by a puncture following some great work to drag himself up the grid. This meant an early change of drivers – and quite a rapid change of fortune. The second stint for Shulzhitskiy in the #32 was a great drive, but Peter Pyzera was soon on the radio to report damage from a collision with an unidentified BMW.

Both cars made it to the end of their hour, but it soon became apparent on Ordoñez’s watch that the collision damage had done far more to the car than had been thought and the #35 was retired soon after. However, Steve “Dan Mitchell” Doherty put in a solid final session in the #32 to bring the car home second in class, 13th overall.

This result gives Nissan GT Academy Team RJN a commanding 18 point lead in the Pro Am category on 51pt, well ahead of AF Corse in 2nd – though the extra points from the Spa 24 Hours make the next event one to finish well in.

You can watch the entire race below (not available in all regions):

Image courtesy of Nissan.


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  1. Jul. 1, 11:52pm

    When it rains it pours. Last time we had deaths in motorsport was October of 2011 when we lost Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli. Now we’ve lost 3 drivers in the month of June. It’s morbid and I hate it but I always try to watch the footage of the accident just to see what happened and know what we can improve on. The armco was an obvious problem, but the corvette onboards showed us the problems of extra run off space and painted area that I wouldn’t have cone to otherwise. What happened in Mame’s crash? Is there video anywhere?

  2. Jul. 1, 9:56pm

    Now THESE are the kinda GT-Rs I wouldn’t mind being in Gran Turismo 6! Take out some of the R32-4 Duplicates and put these in, wouldn’t mind that at all.

    • Jul. 1, 11:39pm

      I agree with YOU.

  3. Jul. 1, 3:08pm

    I could not care about BLANCPAIN endurance series since they have made the whole series anti-western hemisphere.

    • Jul. 1, 4:18pm

      Also I am an athieist toward BLANCPAIN Edurance series since I have not seen it, it does not exist.

    • Jul. 1, 10:52pm
      Ferrari Alonso

      I’d take the Blancpain Enduro over the Super GT.

    • Jul. 1, 11:43pm

      I agree with Ferrari Alonso. I really just don’t like how the FIA runs any of their racing leagues in terms of scheduling. They often cut out cool, unique tracks in favor of their big, boring F1 circuits. I would love to see BES and GT1 with an American event. If they don’t do that then why not start one here for the Western Hemisphere? That would be much better then those rumors of an American GP3 series of last fall. Could run from Brazil and Argentina, to Mexico, to the US and Canada. Places like Road America are deffinently worthy of a GT1 race.

  4. Jul. 1, 2:51pm

    and another strong case for a livery editor :D

    • Jul. 1, 11:45pm

      I would love nothing more then to paint all my car’s in my own race team’s livery :D Real GT racing like this needs a bigger presence in the game as it seems a staple of the whole Gran Turismo idea.

  5. Jul. 1, 2:30pm

    GT6 demo is out tomorrow, right? Now that’s something I’m looking forward to.

  6. Jul. 1, 11:30am

    Ok found a 52min highlights video…

    What the hell was going on with the SLS doors?!?!?! lol

  7. Jul. 1, 11:19am

    Congrats! The whole world is watching GT Academy now! Gogogo!

  8. Jul. 1, 10:04am

    GTA taking over the racing world ftw!

    On a side note to the video above… “The uploaded has not made this content available in your country.” Dammit >:(

    • Jul. 1, 10:09am

      Oh bum. I’m afraid it hadn’t occurred to me to check it was available for all.

    • Jul. 1, 10:10am

      Nevermind found one that works for the US…


    • Jul. 1, 10:11am

      That’s the 2012 race!

    • Jul. 1, 10:11am

      Im here to help Famine ;-)

    • Jul. 1, 10:12am

      Seriously? Grrrrrrr sorry…

  9. Jul. 1, 9:53am

    Can’t wait to watch this!

  10. Jul. 1, 9:53am

    Another tragic weekend condolences to team Meme. On a positive note congratulations to everyone else that worked so hard..

  11. Jul. 1, 9:39am

    R.I.P. Andrea Mamé.

  12. Jul. 1, 8:57am

    Congrats everyone :D

    • Jul. 1, 9:04am

      R.I.P. Andrea Mamé

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