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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Good Smile, RJN Prepare Spare Chassis After Qualifying Crashes

Good Smile, RJN prepare spare chassis after qualifying crashes…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Good Smile Racing & Team UKYO and Motul Team RJN Motorsport have both been in a race against time to prepare spare cars overnight after separate incidents during qualifying for the Total 24 Hours of Spa on Thursday evening.

The No. 00 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of the Ram Racing-run Good Smile squad and the No. 22 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 were both involved in lone crashes in qualifying, irreparably damaging the cars.

Kamui Kobayashi hit the tire barrier near pit out at the top of Eau Rouge during the closing stages of the first qualifying session, before a similar accident for Matt Parry in the Nissan took place just minutes into night qualifying.

Both teams have prepared spare chassis overnight, although they have been penalized for the chassis and engine change.

The two cars will start the race from the pit lane and have to serve a 120-second stop-go penalty.

“We’ll prepare [the new] car for the race and the plan is to do warmup later on,” Ram Racing team principal Dan Shufflebottom told Sportscar365.

“It’s an [AMG Driving] Academy car. It was here on Tuesday doing passenger rides and they took it back to Affalterbach then had to bring it back last night.”

Shufflebottom also confirmed that Kobayashi was released by the medical team soon after the incident and is expected to take part in the race, alongside co-drivers Nobuteru Taniguchi and Tatsuya Kataoka, pending him being cleared to race.

RJN Motorsport team principal Bob Neville says the Nissan will be repaired in time for the warmup but hopes to test the car beforehand. 

“There’s only one thing worse than doing an all-nighter on a Thursday night ahead of a 24-hour race – doing it on a Friday!” he told Sportscar365.

“We brought it as a spare chassis and it was a chassis with all the wiring in it and the brakes in it but we’ve used all the rear from the other car. 

“We’re hoping to get a lap at the end of the Blancpain GT Sports Club session, we’ll see where we are with it, and we’ll do the warmup in the normal way.”

Parry was unharmed after the Nissan’s crash, while the RJN team has also been prepping its new car overnight.

“It was definitely was one of the biggest hits of my career,” he said. “I was out of the car pretty quickly. I’m fine and very lucky.

“It’s a credit to how safe these cars are nowadays, so you can have a 170 km/h crash into a wall and walk away.”

Vincent Wouters contributed to this report

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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