Published on April 16th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Nissan’s NISMO GT-R GT3s perform well at Monza
Over the last few years, Nissan has really pumped money into the motorsports scene. Not only have they brought Nissan back to higher forms of motorsport through factory backed NISMO teams, they have also started numerous driver programs in tandem with Gran Turismo; the GT Academy has yielded some rather talented drivers.
2012 GT Academy Europe winner Wolfgang Reip was at the wheel of the 12th placed #23 PRO class Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 for the start and the Belgian racer had broken into the top 10 by the 20-minute mark of the three-hour race. He made great progress during his stint, handing the GT-R over to Katsumasa Chiyo in seventh position. Chiyo set off and was soon hunting down a Bentley, which will have brought back memories of the Bathurst 12 Hours for many. The Japanese driver was all the way up to fifth when the safety car came out but lost some time at the restart before pitting for Alex Buncombe to jump in for the run to the flag.
The #22 PRO-AM Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 of Florian Strauss, Ricardo Sanchez and Marc Gassner got away well in the hands of Strauss on Sunday afternoon, the German Bathurst winner immediately gaining ground. Unfortunately the race for #22 was short-lived when rising oil tempertaures forced Strauss to pit and retire the GT-R.
Buncombe is a master of Monza and was soon in pursuit of the leaders again, despite losing a wheel sensor over a kerb, which knocked out his ABS and traction control! He then lost a lap when the safety car came out but picked up the wrong car which meant that Buncombe lost touch with the leaders and had to settle for an eighth place finish, which was fifth in the PRO class. While the podium was out of reach for them this time round, it’s only a matter of time before the NISMO teams close that gap and take the lead- just like they did during the Bathurst endurance race earlier this year.