JRM Racing finished its inaugural Blancpain Endurance Series campaign on a high note with fifth in class in the season finale, the Nurburgring 1000km. The British team’s Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3, shared by Peter Dumbreck, Steven Kane and Kazuki Hoshino demonstrated very competitive pace to end the six hour race in sixth overall and the fifth in the Pro class, a hugely credible result for the Northamptonshire-based squad.
Unfortunately the pit stop took a little longer than expected after a gentleman driver blocked the team’s pit slot, which dropped the Irishman down the order. Steven kept pushing throughout his stint and was racing well until the #50 Ferrari came straight across his path, causing him to spin and return to the pits. Fortunately the #23 suffered only minor damage to the front right turning vanes and he returned to the race in P21 under the safety car.
Undeterred, with Steven still at the wheel, the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 stretched its legs to move back into P9 just past the two hour mark. It was then time for new recruit Kazuki Hoshino, seconded from the Nismo Global Driver Exchange Programme to get in the saddle.
Rejoining in P13, the Japanese star moved back into the top 10, lapping consistently on the pace of the top five. A change back to Peter didn’t halt the momentum and he moved back into P9 on his final stint before Steven took over for his second run to finish the race.
It was then that the improved reliability and efficiency of the Nissan came to the fore – as other cars in front suffered with worn brakes and splash and dash pit stops, Steven kept clear of the melee to maintain ninth overall. Then, with just 10 minutes remaining, the Irishman kept his cool to come through to a fighting sixth position and fifth in class in the team’s first-ever 1000km race.
Team manager and chief engineer, Nigel Stepney, commented; ‘The pace was definitely there this weekend and we matched the pace of the quickest cars in the field. We had the speed to race some of the Mercedes at times too – it was a much more representative performance than Spa.
We really got a handle on the car and the drivers performed exceptionally well. We had a couple of minor issues in the stops and without them we could have finished a little higher, but basically we are very happy with that. The car was strong all weekend and we can be pleased with the final result of the year. Thanks to all the boys and the drivers for a great end to the season.’
Team principal James Rumsey was delighted with the team’s showing this weekend, ‘Despite this being our first GT3 race at the Nurburgring, our performance has been strong throughout the weekend, with the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 a regular in the top 10 of the timesheets. We have worked very hard throughout the season to get the car into a competitive shape and we did justice to this progress today, racing on pace against the established cars and teams.
Competing in a six hour race is not an easy job but both reliability and performance have been very good this weekend – I’m delighted we have been able to get a result that pays it justice. We now have just a few days before we go to our next race, the ADAC GT Masters in Hockenheim, so we’ll go straight back to work so we can do as well there.’