Electrical Niggles Force GT Academy Team’s Retirement at Spa

July 29th, 2012 by Andrew Evans

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. Aug. 10, 10:45pm

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

  2. Aug. 2, 8:00pm

    Those damn niggles always be causin’ trouble…

    • Aug. 7, 12:19pm
      RB26 2jz

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

  3. Jul. 31, 11:39am

    No DLC ???? LOL

    • Jul. 31, 1:01pm

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

  4. Jul. 31, 10:44am


  5. Jul. 30, 7:24pm

    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. :)

    • Jul. 30, 9:48pm

      That’s good stuff.

    • Jul. 31, 11:07pm

      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. Jul. 30, 3:07pm

    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”.

    • Jul. 30, 7:10pm

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

    • Jul. 30, 7:11pm

      Correct(stupid IPad): term of inderment

    • Aug. 7, 12:21pm
      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. Jul. 30, 5:51am

    Great video about the SPA 24h.


    • Jul. 30, 10:51pm

      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!

  8. Jul. 30, 5:11am

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

  9. Jul. 30, 4:36am

    I swear that the team have accidents every race

  10. Jul. 30, 2:52am

    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. Jul. 30, 2:52am

    *Submits wishlist comment related to News article*

    • Jul. 31, 4:46am

      Haha :D

  12. Jul. 29, 10:28pm

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

  13. Jul. 29, 5:50pm
    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…

    • Jul. 29, 10:11pm

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

    • Jul. 30, 10:10am
      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.

    • Aug. 7, 8:16pm

      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. Jul. 29, 5:44pm

    the GTR looks awesome with those colors and that huge spoiler

    • Jul. 29, 10:09pm

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

    • Jul. 29, 10:11pm

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

    • Aug. 7, 12:22pm
      RB26 2jz

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

  15. Jul. 29, 3:26pm

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

  16. Jul. 29, 2:58pm

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

  17. Jul. 29, 2:37pm

    It’s a Nissan… what do you expect.

    • Jul. 29, 2:40pm

      A win.

    • Jul. 29, 4:13pm


    • Jul. 29, 6:38pm

      Not I! They only made cool cars when they where called “Datsun”, and all those rusted out years ago.

    • Jul. 29, 8:19pm

      Nissan hipster… =P

    • Jul. 29, 9:14pm

      You could call it that XD

  18. Jul. 29, 2:18pm

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

  19. Jul. 29, 1:24pm

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

    • Jul. 29, 3:52pm
      Mac K

      Nobody cares.

    • Jul. 30, 11:25pm
      e30 freek

      Id laugh if it wasn’t, actually id complain even though im sick of them

  20. Jul. 29, 1:21pm

    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.

  21. Jul. 29, 12:53pm

    Something to do with the Cigarette Lighter

    • Jul. 30, 6:34am

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

  22. Jul. 29, 12:52pm
    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.

    • Jul. 31, 12:59pm

      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. Jul. 29, 12:51pm

    WTF are “niggles”????

    • Jul. 29, 12:58pm

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

    • Jul. 29, 1:36pm
      GT5 Level 41

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

    • Jul. 29, 2:08pm

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

    • Jul. 29, 2:14pm

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

  24. Jul. 29, 12:20pm

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

  25. Jul. 29, 11:49am


  26. Jul. 29, 11:25am
    e30 freek

    I want that mclaren looks awesome in those colours

    • Jul. 29, 11:52am

      :tup: that. McLaren in Gulf colors? Sign me up!

  27. Jul. 29, 11:07am

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

  28. Jul. 29, 11:04am

    Better luck next time lads :(

  29. Jul. 29, 11:04am

    Awwww Darn

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