Team RJN Nissan Scales Back Blancpain GT Program

Photo: Nissan

Photo: Nissan

Team RJN Nissan has scaled back its Blancpain GT Series effort to a so-far announced single-car Endurance Cup-only program, following a two-car, full-season factory effort in 2016.

The British squad, run by Bob Neville, will field the No. 23 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 for Alex Buncombe, Katsumasa Chiyo and Lucas Ordonez in Endurance Cup Pro class, with no continued involvement in the five-round Sprint Cup, or potential second car announced for the Endurance Cup.

RJN’s current lineup marks the first time in recent memory it will not utilize a recent Nissan GT Academy graduate, with the team name also going away from the “GT Academy” moniker.

It’s believed the reason for the reduced effort is because of development of the Japanese manufacturer’s new GT-R NISMO GT3, which is slated to debut next year.

Nissan, meanwhile, revealed its other works-supported GT3 programs will be in Super GT and Super Taikyu, confirming the end of its factory effort in Pirelli World Challenge after a two-year run with the Always Evolving/AIM Autosport team.

9 Comments

  1. JamieR

    February 17, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Not a surprise, you see this with Porsche in the WEC and Citroën in the WRC.

    They do seemed to have cooled off the Academy promoting recently though.

  2. Michael Sørensen

    February 17, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Lucas is a graduate!

    • Hawkwood

      February 17, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      He is, but not a recent one. He was the very first one, about 7-8 years ago?

  3. Morningview66

    February 17, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Hang on, are they allowed to do this?
    I thought rules mandated an entry in both Sprint and Endurance cups to score manufacturers points?

  4. Mike S.

    February 17, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    I’m trying to see the success. How many podiums and wins has this car had in Blancpain? I’m asking seriously. I only know the PWC car in NA has had glimmers of success and maybe a couple of wins in the last several seasons. Are they maybe changing cars and approach in drivers to balance gaming vs professional race craft??

    • Dan

      February 17, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      They took the drivers championship in 2015 and had a victory at Paul Ricard if memory serves. They’ve had a few podiums since but not much more. The AIM cars had a decent level of success last year with a few podiums and a sweep in Utah with 2014 spec cars.

      • thomas

        February 18, 2017 at 5:07 am

        Won Bathurst 12 Hour in 2015. Finished 2nd in 2016. Won several races in SUperGT over the years too. (GT300 class is GT3 spec)

  5. Dan

    February 17, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    I just wonder how this will affect AIM/Always Evolving efforts. They were factory supported last year though it was clearly minimum support. The team principal said they were making plans if they didn’t get support. I hope he was telling the truth. I don’t want Nissan s sole presence in the states being a pair of Ligier s pretending to be GT-R’s.

    • Edgar Sanchez

      February 17, 2017 at 4:49 pm

      They will be running just one car but it will be strickly a customer team now

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