|At Fuji Speedway’s official Super GT test slated for 6 – 7 August, Nismo’s Global Driver Exchange pilots Jann Mardenborough and Alex Buncombe took part in the test in a Super GT-spec GT-R.|
Following the test, Mardenborough and Buncombe will compete in the Fuji Sprint Cup (formerly JAP GP) in November. Both drivers were team-mates last year in the British GT Championship, driving the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3. The duo came rather close to winning the British GT title, but lady luck weren’t with them.
Mardenborough is the 2011 winner of GT Academy who is now competing against the cream of the crop of single-seater drivers in the European Formula 3 Championship. He has recently taken a podium finish in a Nissan-powered LM P2 car at the Le Mans 24 Hours and been part of an ‘All-Gamer’ line-up that took a Pro-Am podium at the Spa 24 Hours in the No.35 Nissan GT Academy Team RJN Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3.
“It is an amazing opportunity for me to have the chance to race in Japanese SUPER GT,” said Mardenborough. “I have raced at Fuji many times on Gran Turismo 5 so I can’t wait to go there for real and sample that long pit straight and there is a long right-hander that also looks a lot of fun. Before I started racing in 2011 there were three places that I always wanted to go: Dubai, USA and Japan. I’ve done the first two and now I get to go to Japan and I get to race there too. I will be racing GT300 but it will be good to get a close look at the GT500 cars too as they look so exciting!”
Buncombe has played a key role in the success of GT Academy since 2008. He has mentored all of the GT Academy winners and helped to guide them through the steep learning curve of Nissan’s driver development program. Already a winner in the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 car in 2013 he is keen to get his hands on the GT300 car at Fuji. “These are exciting times for me as I have never even been to Japan, let alone raced a SUPER GT car,” Buncombe echoed. “I’ve been watching people like Michael Krumm compete in GT500 on television for years now and it looks so good. It’s the pinnacle of GT racing so naturally I have wanted to have a go for a long time.”