Nissan/NISMO has announced plans for a greatly expanded Blancpain GT Series campaign in 2016 where it will enter a two-car team in the Blancpain Sprint Series alongside an Endurance Series title defence.
The Japanese manufacturer will enter two Nissan GTR NISMO GT3s in SRO’s popular sprint series, with one car in the Pro class – with Alex Buncombe and Japanese rising star Mitsunori Takaboshi behind the wheel – and the second in the Silver Cup for Pro/Am line-ups – which features Sean Walkinshaw and Ricardo Sánchez.
It will be the same drivers, with the exception of Sánchez, who take on the Blancpain Endurance Series in a bid to defend Nissan/NISMO’s title – again with a Pro and Pro/Am line-up in the two cars.
The Pro car will feature Buncombe and Takaboshi with former GT Academy winner Lucas Ordóñez joining the pair, Walkinshaw will be a constant in the Silver Cup entry with Australian Matt Simmons and Frenchman Romain Sarazin joining the Brit.
That means two of the three drivers that won the title in the Pro car last year, Katsumasa Chiyo and Wolfgang Reip, will not be back to defend their title with Chiyo moving to GT500 and Reip being dropped entirely by Nissan/NISMO.
Shoichi Miyatani, CEO and President of NISMO, said: “Last year the Nissan GT-R was engaged in numerous high-stakes battles around the world, including in Europe, the US, Australia and Japan, where it achieved some phenomenal results. This year three of our young NISMO Athletes will be making the step up to higher categories, with Chiyo advancing into the GT500 class, Mardenborough moving up to the GT300 and Takaboshi taking on the challenge of the Blancpain Endurance and Sprint Series.
“While we continue to have high hopes for the success of these young drivers, we are also diligently progressing with development and testing to ensure that the supremacy of the GT-R is felt worldwide, which will further strengthen its brand image. Furthermore, we are planning to increase our focus on supporting customer teams that compete with Nissan vehicles and engines. As much as ever, we will be actively competing in motorsports throughout 2016 and taking home more victories, titles and glory for Nissan. We are all very excited in the lead up to this season and hope to share the excitement and passion of motorsport with all our fans.”