13 March 2013 – JRM Racing was back on track for the first time this year at the Blancpain Endurance Series test at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France. It was the first outing for the new Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 car as well as the first chance for the new driver line-up to get to know each other.
This two-day test was the first time Peter Dumbreck, Steven Kane, Matt Bell and Charles Bateman were able to drive the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 they will field in the 2013 championship. The car performed competitively from start to finish and all four drivers quickly felt comfortable. The Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 performed reliably throughout the test, completing a total of 146 laps and clocking lap times within the top 10 quickest cars.
This year will be the first Blancpain Endurance Series Championship for JRM. The team will draw on its experience gained in its debut Le Mans and FIA World Endurance Series campaigns last year, plus its victory in the GT1 Championship in 2011. The team ends the test with a very positive feeling and confident of having a good chance of winning races in class as well as fighting for the Championships.
In exactly one month the racing season starts at the Autodromo di Monza in Italy (13-14 April).
This was our first test with the new specification car. We knew we were going to learn a lot and we have, both bad and good – you make changes that are not necessarily going to be good, but this is what testing is all about. It’s been an interesting couple of days and a good chance to get four drivers in the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 for the first time. The car ran fantastically well, with no issue at all during the whole test. There’s very little time now before Monza and I think we’ve had a positive start. We can be very happy.
It’s great to finally be here testing the new Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 car with JRM. I only had a short run but you can already see that there’s good speed and that it’s a car we can race with and be fast. It certainly has great potential and the aim this year is clearly to win races. I’m really looking forward to the start of the season – we have an amazing car, a great driver line-up and we’re very eager to fight at the top. Now we just need to do our best to stay out of trouble and keep our noses clean at every race and I’m confident we will be very strong throughout the year.
My first impressions of the car are very good, it’s been a very useful couple of days for me here in France. The Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 is very different to anything I’ve driven before – I’m used to having an engine behind me rather than in front of me, so getting the hang of the whole weights and the balance took a bit of time for me to get used to during my first outing, but gradually I’m getting to know the characteristics of the car more. I immediately felt comfortable and the car is reliable, which is nice, as it gives you confidence to be able to push a bit more and learn quicker. I’ve definitely enjoyed it and I’m sure we have the potential to fight for wins this season.
I’m very happy with my first experience driving the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3. It’s a good car and it feels very strong. This test was a bit of a challenge for me, as not only the team and the car was new, but it was also my first time driving here at Paul Ricard, so I was learning the track at the same time as getting to grips with the car. But it’s been a very positive start both for me and the team and I already feel very comfortable. I think we’ve got a good shot at the Pro-Am Championship and I just can’t wait for the season to start!
Nigel Stepney, Team Manager and Chief Engineer:
It’s been a solid test. We got up and running straight away. It’s a brand new car and we also have a few new team members and drivers, but it’s been a very good start. We got back to work quickly – its a bit of a change from LMP1 to GT3, but it’s a very competitive Championship. We are going to have good competition for sure, and it’s not going to be easy by any means, we can see that, but I think we have a strong team and driver line-up and it’s all looking very good. We have a very positive base that we’re going to build on. This is our first test and our first data from the car, so we’ve got to learn from zero and get the car up to speed very quickly. It was also our first chance to work with Pirelli and it enabled us to start building a good understanding of the tyres. We’ve got quite a big learning curve – I know we build the cars for customers, but actually operating a team with a car is actually different. But that’s what we’ve come here to do and I am sure we can do it: we did it with the GT1 and I’m sure we can do it again with the GT3 and have another good season.
We’re also very happy with the new driver line-up. They’ve all done a good job. Charles hadn’t been here before, so it was a new car, new team as well as a new track for him, but we gave him a few more laps and he soon got up to speed. Matt was also comfortable in the car straight away and I think it’s a good base to build on. We have been able to complete plenty of laps and we are all much more confident.
James Rumsey, Team Principal:
I’m delighted with the car’s progress at this test. Our aim this season is to win races and fight for the Championships and here in France we have confirmed that the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 is a competitive and reliable machine. We also have a strong new driver-line up: Peter is with us for another year and his experience will be vital. Steven, Matt and Charles are new to the team but they all gelled very well, getting up to speed straight away during their first experience driving the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3. So we can all be very pleased with our start to the season, it’s looking very promising.