JRM, the NISMO development partner for the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3, has not been idle since the season opening round in Monza.
JRM Racing returns to racing action in the second of the five round 2013 Blancpain Endurance Series this weekend. The Daventry-based team will be out at Silverstone with its two Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 cars in Europe’s most popular sportscar series.
This weekend the Pro Car entry of Lucas Luhr, Peter Dumbreck and Steven Kane and the Pro-Am car of Matt Bell, Charles Bateman and Humaid Al-Masaood will take on a huge field of more than 60 cars, including the Ferrari 458 Italia, McLaren MP4-12C and Aston Martin Vantage GT3 as they gun for points in their respective classes.
In parallel we also partnered up with JMB Racing in the first two races of the French GT Tour, which gave us further opportunity to get to grips with some areas of performance over the shorter races.’
Having finished the Pro class in 12th and Pro-Am in 10th in Monza, James is hopeful of improving on the result on home turf: ‘We had a tough start in Monza, but we established a solid foundation that we have built on since then. We knew the competition would be very high and I don’t think the challenge will be any less out there this time.
However I am confident that we can improve on the results at Silverstone and finish in the top five with the Pro Car and, with the quality of the drivers in the Pro-Am car, why not on the podium in this class?’
Team manager and chief engineer, Nigel Stepney, expects to put all of these steps forward into play at Silverstone: ‘The whole team is really looking forward to racing at Silverstone, which is about 30mins from our factory. We came away from Monza with a clear idea of what we needed to do and we worked to understand each particular area.
The test in Portimao confirmed the reliability of the car over the longer distances, so we have no concerns for the shorter three-hour race at Silverstone. Equally we worked on getting the pit crew up to speed so we can do quicker driver and tyre changes and refuelling. With so little gap between crews it is these kinds of small changes that can make a difference.
‘Silverstone presents a different challenge to Monza, with more corners and the twisty new Wellington loop, however both circuits share the same high speed character. We know that this suits the GT-R, so we are quietly optimistic of a good result on both cars.’
Peter Dumbreck will look to put this improved performance into play when the #23 hits the track to take the fight in the Pro class, which includes Monza winners Kessel Racing and podium finishers ART Grand Prix. The Scot, originally from Kirkcaldy, will also draw on his home advantage having relocated down south several years ago.
‘I live about 25mins from Silverstone so it is definitely my home race,’ explained Peter. ‘The British fans are always amazing, whatever the weather! Along with Le Mans and Spa, it’s definitely a classic racetrack and I thoroughly enjoy driving here.
‘Silverstone should suit the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 – it has a good top speed and acceleration, which should both be effective on the long straights. In the past the GT1 did very well there, and the GT3 is based on this.
‘We went away from Monza with a much better idea of how to improve the car and one of the areas I know the team has worked on is the power delivery through the twistier sections. We’ll see how we go in practice before making too many predictions, but I definitely think we can finish further up the order this time out.’
N. 230 driver Matt Bell, from Newcastle, will face 23 teams from nine different manufacturers in the Pro-Am class. The Geordie has been warming up for the race with an outing in the Silverstone round of British GT last weekend. ‘It's always good to get seat time round a circuit,’ he explained. ‘The British GT weekend didn’t go exactly to plan though as a damper failure in qualifying and in the race hampered us.
‘I haven't sat in the Nissan since Monza,’ he continued. ‘But the team has been working hard on improving the car during some test days. There are a number of things they’ve found and we’re looking forward to a much better weekend all round. As per Monza there are a lot of good crews out there so the competition isn’t going to be any easier, but the team is determined to get a good result to improve on Monza, and me too.’
The cars hit the track on Saturday 1 June for free practice and pre-qualifying, with qualifying on Sunday 2 June. The three-hour race kicks off at 14:50 local time on Sunday.