Nissan GT Academy graduate Johnny Guindi discussed his first endurance outing with the Team RJN team as he competed in the Dubai 24 Hours, the first round the clock event of the year.
Driving alongside fellow Mexican and GT graduate, Ricardo Sanchez who was key to the team’s success. In fact, the team was filled with former Academy representatives as British driver Jann Mardenborough and 2015 European winner, Romain Sarazin completed the line-up.
Sadly, a mistake in the early stages put Guindi on the back foot as he spun the Nissan 37 0Z GT4 along the straight.
The team recovered, but ran into further issues caused by electrical faults and broken dampers. This added a number of crucial laps to their result and as a result, could only finish eighth in class for SP3-GT4‘s.
“I’ve never felt so many different emotions in just 24 hours. I’ve never felt as terrible as I did after my first stint in the car. I went out on cold new tires just as the sun finished to set and just nine corners later, after a lapse in concentration and the misfortune of accidentally turning the ABS off during the driver change, I locked the rear tires doing 235 km/h and spun into a Porsche,” Guindi said.
“I was so angry at myself, not just for the crash itself but also for not being able to get over it and settle into a rhythm afterwards. I needed to get over it and bounce back and my second stint did just that.”
Despite making the crucial error on the opening stint, he recovered in the following two stints as he got to experience driving at dawn round the Dubai Autodrome in his first international adventure. He also got the honour of taking the chequered flag as he looks ahead to future appearances.
“I went out on track with 20 minutes of night-time to go and got to witness the sunrise over the course of the two-hour stint. I was really happy with that stint,” Guindi continued.
“The third and final stint was simply about bringing the car to the finish. The highlight of the stint was being given the amazing opportunity of taking the flag to finish off a 24-hour race.”