Rossiter Quickest for Team Impul Nissan in Final Super GT Test
James Rossiter set the pace in the final Super GT pre-season test at Fuji Speedway on Saturday and Sunday, going quickest in his Team Impul Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500.
The Brit posted a best time of 1:28.254 in Saturday afternoon’s session to go 0.095 seconds clear of the No. 23 NISMO entry in the combined weekend standings.
It made for a Nissan 1-2 at the end of the test, with Rossiter and Daiki Sasaki’s car ahead of the Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli entry.
The next three fastest cars were all Lexus LC 500 entries, including those from Team SARD, Team WedsSport Bandoh and Team LeMans Wako’s.
The latter car, driven by Kazuya Oshima and Kenta Yamashita, set the fastest time on Sunday, albeit 0.268 seconds down on the leader.
The GT500 field proved to be fairly evenly matched, with all but two cars going within a second of the overall pace at some point during the weekend.
Takamitsu Matsui and Kimiya Sato led the way in GT300 with their Toyota 86 MC run by Tsuchiya Engineering.
They placed ahead of GAINER and Tomei Sports’ Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s in second and third.
The championship will get underway with a 300 km race at Okayama on April 13-14.
RESULTS: Fuji Test (Combined Weekend)
Ginetta Set for Nürburgring 24 Return
A Ginetta will compete in the Nürburgring 24 Hours for the first time six years when German squad KKrämer Racing lines up for the 2019 edition this June.
KKrämer has announced that it will contest all remaining rounds of the VLN series as well as the blue riband Nordschleife enduro with a single Ginetta G55 GT4.
Ginetta one-make series champions and Nordschleife rookies Charlie Robertson, Jac Constable and Charlie Ladell will share driving duties with French racer Jean-Francois Brunot in the 24-hours.
The last time a Ginetta contested the Nürburgring 24 was in 2013, when Nova Race finished second in the SP10 class with a G50 GT4.
“Everyone at KKrämer Racing is looking forward to working with a great manufacturer like Ginetta,” said team principal Karsten Krämer.
“It’s exciting to be taking on the best of Germany in partnership with a British company and with proven British talents behind the wheel.
“This is a big challenge for KKrämer Racing and Ginetta, but from such challenges come big opportunities and rewards.”
Peugeot, Aston Martin LMP1s On Top in Masters Series
Kriton Lendoudis and Chris d’Ansembourg shared out the LMP1 victories in the first Masters Endurance Legends round of the year at Paul Ricard.
Lendoudis, driving a 2011 Peugeot 908 HDi FAP, won race 1 after leapfrogging d’Ansembourg’s Lola-Aston Martin DBR1 during the mandatory pit window.
Pole-sitter d’Ansembourg, who had dropped to third, regained second place when Steve Tandy spun his ex-Dyson Racing Lola B12/60 at the Mistral Chicane but couldn’t retake the lead.
D’Ansembourg improved on his race 1 result in race 2, which he won from Lendoudis and Tandy in a three-way fight to the finish.
The Aston Martin driver overtook the Peugeot on lap three and held on for the remainder of the 20-lap race with the top three separated by less than a second at the finish.
Darius Ahrabian twice finished fourth overall in the best of the LMP2 cars, while Nikolaus Ditting claimed a weekend sweep of the ‘G2’ GT class in a 2005 Aston Martin DBR9.
News & Notes
***Zaid Ashkanani will complete Dinamic Motorsport’s lineup for its maiden Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup program this season. The Kuwaiti driver joins previously-announced Andrea Rizzoli and Klaus Bachler in the Italian team’s Porsche 911 GT3 R.
***KÜS Team75 Bernhard has signed Horst Hadergasser and Hendrik Still to drive its Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport in ADAC GT4 Germany. The new series gets underway at Oschersleben on April 26-28.
***Uwe Alzen and Dennis Marschall took a victory each in the opening round of the German DMV GTC championship at Hockenheim. Alzen won the opening race by 6.5 seconds from Phoenix Racing’s Vincent Kolb, who also finished second to HCGB-Rutronik Racing driver Marschall in race 2. Both contests ended in 1-2-3 results for Audi R8 LMS GT3 machinery.
***Recently-announced Audi Sport Asia drivers Weiron Tan and Martin Rump will compete with Absolute Racing in Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia, driving one of the team’s new Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos in the Silver Cup.
***Absolute has added another Audi to its Blancpain GT Asia entry, running as Singha Plan B Motorsport by Absolute Racing. The team’s regular Thailand Super Series lineup of Bhurit Bhirombhakdi and Kantasak Kusiri will share the car Sepang with a view to adding more races later in the season
***A number of European GT teams have been in action in recent weeks completing final pre-season testing before the Blancpain GT and GT Open seasons get underway. Emil Frey Racing and Optimum Motorsport have run at Spa while Emil Frey, Target Racing, VSR, AF Corse, Antonelli Motorsport and Ombra Racing are among those at Monza.
***ADAC GT Masters squad PROpeak Performance – formerly PROSport – also took its new Aston Martin Vantage GT3 out for a maiden test run at the Nürburgring last week.
***Ekris Motorsport will return to GT4 European Series after a year of limited running, entering its home-built Ekris M4 GT4 for Euan McKay and Ricardo van der Ende.
***Toyota LMP1 driver Fernando Alonso sampled the Japanese manufacturer’s Dakar-spec Hilux for the first time last week. The two-time Formula 1 world champion, who has been linked to a competitive drive in the famous long-distance rally, received guidance from 2009 Dakar winner Giniel de Villiers at the”two-day evaluation test” in South Africa.
Daniel Lloyd contributed to this report.