Nissan banned from GT3 championship

by Fuggles
5 years ago


Nissan’s GT Academy Team RJN entry for a two-car assault on the British GT Championship has been refused as the drivers are “too fast” for the national Pro-Am category.

In 2012 GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough entered the British GT Championship alongside Alex Buncombe in the brand new Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3.  Alex was the professional and Jann was the amateur as at that point his racing experience was incredibly limited.  They pushed hard and by the close of the season the duo were in with a shot of winning the championship outright.

In 2013 the threat of the talent of the newest GT Academy winners is far too real.

“I have a lot of admiration for GT Academy,” said British GT Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici. “It has shown itself to be a great way to source raw talent and turn that into real racing talent as we saw in British GT last year with Jann Mardenborough.  However Nissan’s ability to find such amazing raw talent means that we cannot accept their full season entry for British GT in 2013.  Their new recruits have very little racing experience so they have to be on the lowest performance grade. Their talent, going on Jann’s speed last year, doesn’t reflect this lack of experience so it is not fair to put them up against our Pro/Gentleman grid, the basis of British GT3.  Hats off to Nissan though and I should point out that there are no closed doors here.”

During the 2012 British GT season Jann Mardenborough was deemed ‘too fast’ for his performance grading but as he didn’t meet any of the higher criteria the organisers had no choice other than to apply a time penalty to allow the others to catch up.  In his first full season as a racing driver Jann’s talent was recognised by the British Racing Driver’s Club who awarded him Rising Star status and he was also awarded a place on the prestigious MSA Academy, run by the governing body of motorsport in the UK.

In 2013 four new winners of GT Academy are ready to race after going through the intensive GT Academy Driver Development Programme.   The four drivers are Wolfgang Reip (2012 European winner from Belgium), Mark Shulzhitskiy (2012 Russian winner), Peter Pyzera (2012 German winner) and Steve Doherty (2012 US winner).

“We don’t know yet if the new guys will be as fast as Jann but British GT have decided not to take the risk,” said Nissan’s Global Motorsports Director Darren Cox. “It’s disappointing that we can’t put any of our new winners into the British GT Championship as it was a great learning experience for Jann.  It’s also very flattering at the same time though. Being told you are too fast isn’t something that happens very often in any competitive sport.  We’re working hard now to make sure our new graduates have a great race programme this year.”


  • Your drivers are too fast so we are banning you from racing? What sort of bullsh!t statement is that? The whole point of racing is to go fast! Sounds more like they have not got the rules right. After all, if someone turns up at the local athletics meet and runs a fast time because of raw talent, rather than experience and training, are they then banned?

    Wonder if the GT Championship sponsors ‘agree’ that its best to ban drivers deemed too fast……………

    Very negative approach IMHO.

  • John Miskin says:

    Clearly the Academy worked very well and Nissan obtained some fantastic talent that would otherwise never have been given the opportunity to race.

    This is wrong as they are now admitting that their Bronze and Platinum driver set up has been a fiasco.

    Some have questioned whether the organisers are more concerned about the potential pace of the cars with these drivers or just paranoid about the drivers alone. If that is the case then it is the lack of driver skill that is the issue.

  • IMS says:

    it’ll be the cars next…oh, wait a minute, they already did that back in the 80/90’s…!!!

    Looka like Nissan get punished for being ahead of the game…again!

  • Matt says:

    Bathurst R32 Skyline … our local cars are getting smashed “hang on Quick change of rules”

  • Andrew says:

    Its to make it fair they didn’t ban him from racing but they banned him from that level he is to fast for that league its like making a senior in high school take a spelling test with 1st grade students its really a compliment to the driver for being so good with so little time behind the wheel

  • PainIs4ThaWeak says:

    What a croc of shit!

    If this article sounds the way I think it sounds, then how about we stop playing politics and let these guys, oh I dunno, COMPETE maybe?

    If you can’t cut it, maybe those guys ought to be put in a lower class, or a new class created for the “faster” drivers.

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