Spa 24H: Nissan GT-R road car vs GT-R Nismo GT3 race car from a driver’s perspective

2011 GT Academy winner, Jann Mardenborough, has never been to Spa-Francorchamps before. But during yesterday’s first practice session for this weekend’s 24 Hour race he was 6th fastest out of 66 cars. And he’s annoyed at not being higher up the time sheets.

‘Nuff said.

He described his first run up the famous Eau Rouge corner as “..something I won’t forget in a hurry” and his first impression of the circuit “Spa is nice, I like the track.” Quite.

So, who better to explain just what makes his Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 race car so competitive and how it differs from the plain vanilla GT-R road car?

Jann’s insightful commentary (in the video above) demonstrates why he’s one of the hottest new drivers on the endurance scene at the moment – not only because he can peddle (rather quickly), but he also knows what he’s peddling and how it’s been optimised for the task.

The task this weekend is to win round four of the 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series, together with his team mates Alex Buncombe, Chris Ward and Lucas Ordonez.

“This is a new challenge for me,” said British GT race winner Jann. “I have heard everyone talk about Spa and I have been learning as much as I can on my PlayStation and in the simulator but I can’t wait to get out there and drive it for real. The GT-R should go well at Spa; it likes the high-speed stuff as it’s so well planted at the rear. It’s an easy car to drive fast so I think Spa is going to be a lot of fun.”

It’s the first outing for Ordonez in the No.35 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3, but the Spanish racer’s fourth 24-hour race of the year.

“It will be good to have Lucas with us,” continued Jann. “I know he hasn’t raced the GT-R before but he knows Spa well and I expect he’ll be on it right away. The RJN guys know how to win races like this as they won the GT4 class with Jordan (Tresson) last year so we will apply the usual 24-hour rules – be consistent and keep going – and hope for a good result.”

The race gets underway this Saturday at 1600hrs CET and will be broadcast live across Europe on Motors TV.

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