Nissan NISMO adds Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup to Endurance Cup title defense
After winning one of the most competitive GT3 titles in the world in 2015, Nissan/NISMO expands its commitment with its first official entry in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, supplementing its championship-winning commitment to the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
Continuing the Blancpain GT Series challenge in Pro and Pro Am which began in 2011, RJN Motorsport will continue to run the programme under the management of Bob Neville, with support from NISMO.
After the success of Katsumasa Chiyo’s programme in Europe, NISMO has assigned 23-year-old young Japanese star Mitsunori Takaboshi to continue his development programme in the Pro class of the Blancpain GT Series, teaming up with highly experienced Alex Buncombe and Lucas Ordóñez. 2015 GT Academy winners, Australian Matt Simmons and French driver Romain Sarazin will join Sean Walkinshaw in a second car.
Walkinshaw, who already competed in the Blancpain Sprint Series with a Nissan GT-R last year, continues in the Sprint Cup with Mexican Ricardo Sánchez as his team-mate. While Walkinshaw and Sanchez will compete in the Silver Cup of the series, Buncombe and Takaboshi will vie for overall Sprint Cup honours.
Shoichi Miyatani, CEO and president of NISMO : “Last year the Nissan GT-R was engaged in numerous high-stakes battles around the world, including in Europe, the US, Australia and Japan, where it achieved some phenomenal results. This year three of our young NISMO Athletes will be making the step up to higher categories, with Chiyo advancing into the GT500 class, Mardenborough moving up to the GT300 and Takaboshi taking on the challenge of the Blancpain Endurance and Sprint Series. While we continue to have high hopes for the success of these young drivers, we are also diligently progressing with development and testing to ensure that the supremacy of the GT-R is felt worldwide, which will further strengthen its brand image. Furthermore, we are planning to increase our focus on supporting customer teams that compete with Nissan vehicles and engines. As much as ever, we will be actively competing in motorsports throughout 2016 and taking home more victories, titles and glory for Nissan. We are all very excited in the lead up to this season and hope to share the excitement and passion of motorsport with all our fans.”
Summary Blanpcain GT Series driver Line-up :
Sprint Pro car: Alex Buncombe, Mitsunori Takaboshi
Sprint Pro Silver Cup car: Sean Walkinshaw, Ricardo Sánchez
Endurance Pro car: Alex Buncombe, Lucas Ordóñez, Mitsunori Takaboshi
Endurance Pro Am car: Sean Walkinshaw, Matt Simmons, Romain Sarazin