The scene has been set for a dramatic showdown in the 2012 British GT Championship with a group of cars all in with a shot at the title at the season-closer in three weeks’ time. This weekend’s race at Silverstone produced a mixed result for many of the title contenders, not least the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 that finished in eighth place after a three-hour long battle at Silverstone.
The No.35 Nissan GT-R is still in third place in the championship but the scores are so close that the Donington race looks set to become a winner-takes-all event.
Even though it was Jann Mardenborough’s 21st birthday today the young Nissan racer didn’t get the winner’s trophy this time out. With many of the top runners receiving time penalties for various on-track misdemeanours, the No.35 Nissan GT-R wasn’t left out and had a few too many trips to the ‘naughty step’.
The weekend started well for the team and Jann qualified the GT-R in ninth place against the professional racers in the series. His team-mate Alex Buncombe took the start and was up to third place by lap four and then took third just a couple of laps later. It looked like they would be able to climb up the order and take a top result but then the penalties began to come. The main issue was with drivers running too wide at Copse corner but that extra bit of tarmac was far too enticing for most of the cars on track today, one of which got caught out six times!
Unfortunately for the team the GT-R later developed an ABS problem and Jann had to do his final stint without ABS or traction control so he was very busy in the car.
“That final run was tough,” said Jann. “It is what it is though so I just got stuck in and made the best of it. We raced hard today and eighth place doesn’t reflect the work that everyone put in. We will come back stronger at Donington and it looks like everything is still there for the taking so that is going to be an amazing event. We’re up for the fight and I think our competitors are too so if you were going to watch a British GT race this year make it the next one!”
“It was annoying to have the problems with the car and it was annoying to have the penalties,” said team boss Bob Neville, summing up the day. “The good news is that our main opposition also struggled and we managed to score some points so there is still a championship title up for grabs.”
The Donington round of the 2012 British GT Championship takes place on 30 September.