GT Academy Scores Blancpain Honours – and Goodwood Plaudits

2014_BES_PaulRicard_35While not the busiest weekend of the summer for the Nismo Athletes, there were still seven men and four cars doing their day jobs around Europe yesterday.

At the Paul Ricard circuit in France, the 2013 winners faced another round of the Blancpain Endurance Series with a day-night challenge. Qualifying went well, with Alex Buncombe putting the #80 GT-R onto class pole – third overall – and Katsumasa Chiyo two places behind him in the #35.

However, Alex’s fastest time was cancelled out as the red flag had been waved just before the end of his lap – and the #80 had to fight a long battle up from 32nd on the grid with Florian Strauss nominated to take the start. The German winner had clearly been learning from Alex, as he made up sixteen places in his stint before a costly off saw him slip back behind ten of those cars again.

2014_BES_PaulRicard_80Nick McMillen and Alex Buncombe’s hour each in the hot seat saw them clamber up to 22nd overall – 12th in class. A far cry from the victory last time out, but fine damage limitation considering the qualifying issues.

With no such issues, the #35 had a mighty race – fighting for the overall lead at points in Katsumasa’s stewardship, but eventually finishing in 10th place overall for a 3rd place Pro-Am finish and a deserved podium celebration for Chiyo, Aksenov and Faisca.

The team sit pretty at the top of the Blancpain Pro-Am standings with 50pt, 4 clear of Scuderia Villorba Corsa, while the driver trios are 3rd and 8th respectively, ahead of next month’s Spa 24 Hours.


Meanwhile in the UK, Jann Mardenborough was having a little more fun at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

As Vision GT Concept cars were unveiled around him, Jann was busy with the race to the top of the famed Goodwood hill climb – itself updated in Gran Turismo 6 this week.

First on the menu for Jann was Michael Krumm’s ‘Ring lap record time attack 2014 Nissan GT-R, pedalled up the hill for the Michelin Supercar Sunday. In the face of competition from Porsche, Pagani, Koenigsegg, McLaren and Noble, the 2011 GT Academy winner topped the timesheets with a stunning 49.27s run, destroying the standing supercar record, while fellow Nismo Athlete Chris Hoy merely destroyed a few hay bales as he put his GT-R off the top of Molecomb corner.

The main event followed, with the Nismo GT-R GT3 taking part in the open challenge. The rear-wheel drive race car was only around a second faster than the road car, but it proved good enough for Jann to take 4th overall – a couple of seconds adrift of Sebastien Loeb’s ludicrous Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak car.

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Comments (32)

  1. Jayson619

    The Peugeot 208 T16……

    Leob’s name was shown in the ending credits of GT6 if I’m not mistaken, is the car gonna be in GT6!?!

  2. Amac500

    The Peugeot 208 T16 always makes me sad, because everytime I look at that car I can’t help but think that that’s what WRC could be like….

    1. kel239

      Nah way to fast, but I can’t see why they can’t have a 400 HP limit, with no other engine regs

    2. mistersafeway

      Amac500, it could not, because Group B was a thing. The FIA would be too scared of lawsuits to attempt something along those lines again.

    3. Amac500

      I know, that’s what I’m saying. This car is the epitome of what Group B was and I think they made a mistake in canceling it, because car safety would have been solved if they used racing fuel cells instead of street car cells, and controlled the crowds. I know it won’t come back to day, but this car is the epitome of what Group B could be if it were still around today, and had they made the proper calls back in the day I believe it could be.

    4. CyKosis1973

      Expect to see it in the FIA World Rallycross Championship, which by all accounts is the spiritual successor to Group B … this is according to popular press, not me…

    5. Amac500

      I kind of agree with that, seeing the bonkers 560hp engine VW is putting in the Beetle rally cross car that they can’t use in the Polo WRC car.

    1. Amac500

      Agreed. Somebody also needs to make sure the Pebble Beach Concourse isn’t the same weekend as the Woodward Dream Cruise.


    off topic… is that issue with the “No Tuning allowed” in the online rooms solved?
    Does someone know?

    1. mistersafeway

      There is no issue, the default settings were changed, the car needs to be reset to default if it is from 1.08 or earlier.

  4. sirjim73

    Thanks again to GTPlanet and Gran Turismo and everyone else involved who was responsible for getting me those free tickets on Saturday – fantastic day, Festival of Speed highly recommended for anyone thinking of going :D

  5. sirjim73

    Saw Jann bombing up on the hill on Saturday. Great performance. No shame certainly in coming 3rd or 4th on the hill (3rd on Saturday’s run) – if it wasn’t for Loeb in that crazy fast Pikes Peak and the 100th anniversary Goodwood livery Maserati (which was a bit of a surprise to me being so lightning quick for its size) he’d have sailed away with it :D

    Look out for my posts around the forum where I’ll be adding links to pics of the concept cars and Jann’s GTR if I can find them in amongst the 450 photos from the day lol

    1. vr6cas

      Yea, to hard for his ability, look at how he took the first corner, at least Jann showed us how it’s supposed to be done. The GT-R with Janns driving just embarrassed the world’s super/hypercars again, just like on the ring. Well done Jann and nice driving with Mr. 7:08!

    2. hsv

      He’s actually a really competent driver, but you could tell from the offset he just wasn’t comfortable.

  6. MeanElf

    Nice one Jann!

    Also well done to the other two teams – I’m starting to loose track of all the names out there now…

    1. Amac500

      I’d rather test at Ascari my self. I’d like to see Magny Cours added if they are adding a French track, more challenging to drive and would be another great track for GT racing to add in the wake of the Red Bull Ring’s success.

  7. sangdude82

    Yet another podium finish for Nissan in Pro-Am class. Hopefully #80 car gets better luck in Spa 24h in 3 weeks time. I wonder why Nissan brought the camouflaged version of 2014 GT-R Nismo Time Attack. Is it still not put into production?

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