In addition to its two-car assault in the ultra-competitive Blancpain Endurance Series this season, JRM Racing today confirmed it will enter two Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 cars into the British GT championship season opener at Oulton Park on 1 April.
Jody Fannin and Mark Cole will drive the two 3.8 litre, V6 twin-turbo Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3s in the first event of the seven race championship, which also visits Rockingham, Silverstone, Snetterton, Brands Hatch and Donington Park, plus one overseas race in Zandvoort, over its seven month calendar. Jody and Mark will get their first taste of the car at a test at Snetterton, Norfolk, on Wednesday 27 March as they prepare for the race.
JRM Racing team principal James Rumsey was delighted to confirm the news: ‘The Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 is getting a justified reputation as a very strong contender in GT racing. We’ve worked hard with Nissan and Nismo to pull through developments over the winter and we have a good balance between performance, driveability and reliability. Jody and Mark saw this potential for British GT and we look forward to working with them in Oulton. Both are looking to secure full funding for the remainder of the season, but we are sure we will provide them with the best possible weapon to show what they can do. The Snetterton test will be a good opportunity to prepare the car in advance of the race, get to know the drivers and for them to know us.’
Nineteen-year-old Jody is one of the upcoming talents of endurance racing. Based in Surrey, UK, he took the British GT4 championship drivers’ crown in 2012 with partner Warren Hughes in a Ginetta G50 GT4 with seven wins. His endeavours duly earned him the rising star award from the prestigious British Racing Drivers Club at the start of 2013. The half South African, half British racer has also competed in the G50 class Ginetta GT Supercup, finishing third overall in 2011, and the Ginetta Junior championship in 2010, in which he finished the year as the top rookie with two wins.
Jody added, ‘The Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 looks fantastic and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel! I’m really looking forward to getting to grips with it at Oulton Park in race trim. Importantly we’ve got the test at Snetterton, which will be a chance to get to know the team and the car, and give us the best possibility of doing well in the race.’
At age 47, Mark rejoins sportscar racing after a hiatus of several years, during which he pursued various commercial business interests and driver coaching roles within motorsport. He retained his racing sharpness by racing motorcycles in 2011, scoring a creditable sixth in the BMSEE National Rookie 600 series on a Yamaha R6. However he never lost his ambition to return to competitive car racing and add to his results, which include the Porsche Club GB GT3 Cup title in 2002 and championship runner-up in the 2001 Autobytel Lotus Elise Series. Mark has also enjoyed many one-off outings, including the Renault Spider Cup GB, Seat Cupra Cup GB and occasional British GT championship events before he stopped racing in 2007.
Speaking of his return to racing, Mark commented, ‘It’s been some time since I even sat in a race car let alone drove competitively! However I’ve never lost the hunger to get back behind the wheel, and the JRM Racing Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 is a good opportunity for me. I’ll get the full experience at the test at Snetterton, which will be the very first time I will drive the car and provide an opportunity for me to literally get up to speed ahead of the race, but from what I’ve seen, it looks like it will be a very easy car to get to grips with. I’m hopeful about the prospect of doing a full championship and want to use this first race as a platform to show what we can do.’