The Nissan GT Academy took a strong podium result at Paul Ricard, as the #32 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 took second in class in the Blancpain Endurance Series.
The Paul Ricard event was the first to feature the new reshuffled Nismo Athlete line up, equalling the two driving crews. The #35 GT-R was the highest place Nismo Athlete car, starting fourth in class, while the #32 started eighth in class.
Wolfgang Reip started the race at the wheel of the #35 for the start, battling through a tough first hour before handing the car over to Peter Pyzera, who continued the good form started by Reip. Pyzera reported a collision with a BMW during his stint, however the car seemed OK at the team continued as normal.
Lucas Ordonez took over driving duties from Pyzera, but only three laps into his stint he radioed to his crew reporting a puncture as a result of the incident with the BMW. The damage was so bad to the car that the only option for the team was to retire the car.
All hope seemed to be lost for the team as Alex Buncombe also suffered a puncture in his opening stint in the race, however this was a more stereotypical puncture and the team were able to continue. A pair of strong performances from Mark Shultzhitskiy and Steve Doherty meant that the #32 was able to finish the race second in class.
“All of the drivers did a good job today,” said team boss Bob Neville. “The events of this morning were very sad and I think it was a sensible decision to start the race behind the safety car. Consistency paid off for the No.32 car and it was good to see Alex, Mark and Steve on the podium, albeit for rather muted celebrations. It was a shame for the guys in No.35 but the pace in that car was great so we’re looking forward now to the Spa 24 Hours.”