JRM Racing will be back in action this weekend for the finale of the ADAC GT Masters championship, which takes place at the Hockenheimring in the industrial centre of the country.
The Northamptonshire-based team will enter two Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 cars into the final event of the eight-race championship, the first time JRM has raced in the ADAC tour under its own banner. The team will be pitted against the biggest names in GT3 racing, including the Audi R8 LMS ultra, BMW Z4 GT3 and Nurburgring winner, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3.
One Nissan will be driven by JRM regulars Peter Dumbreck and Matt Bell, who team up for the first time this season. Northern Irishman Steven Kane and upcoming British GT star, Jody Fannin, will share the second car. Humaid Al-Masaood had originally been slated for the second car however has withdrawn due to personal reasons. The two crews will contest two one-hour sprint races that promise wheel-to-wheel, bumper-to-bumper action.
Team principal, James Rumsey, looks forward to the team's first foray into the heart of German GT racing. 'We are pretty excited about this race and getting to know the ADAC, a championship we have never competed in as a team before. We'll be pitting ourselves against the very best GT3 cars - most of them on their home soil - and some of the quickest racers around so it is a tall order, particularly with the ballast we will carry for being a single race entry. We are however quietly optimistic about showing the performance of the car. We have just had a great event at the Nurburgring, with fifth in class showing the car is now one of the quickest packages available.'
'Nurburgring was a really positive event for the team,' team manager and chief engineer Nigel Stepney picks up. 'Everyone did a very professional job and we were able to match most of the field for pace. We seemed to have the legs of most of the competition - it was only really the leading Mercedes that was out of reach. We expect to see a similar level of competition in ADAC. The track should suit the car well - the quick sections in particular should benefit the power advantage of the Nissan. We know that the ballast we carry will make things hard, but I hope we can go out and show some performance - coming away in the points is the aim.'
Peter and Matt will hook up in the #24 car for the two one-hour races that will take place on Saturday and Sunday. 'I think the car will go well round there. There's some long straights where the car can stretch its legs so we should be good in the race,' Matt Bell (GBR) said. 'I've never been to Hockenheim before but I'm looking forward to learning a new track. It is one of the iconic F1 circuits and I've always wanted to drive there. The performance looked very strong at Nurburgring last weekend so we're all hoping to continue that into this weekend - I'm aiming to end the year with a podium!'
Peter Dumbreck (GBR) echoes his team-mate's enthusiasm following the strong result last weekend at the Nurburgring 1000km. 'Nurburgring was a good example that if you dig deep as a team and push hard it's possible to come away with a good result. After running well in seventh in the first stint we had a problem during the pit stop that dropped us out of the top 20. From there it looked like a good result wouldn't be possible but with perfect teamwork we fought back into the top six. It was also great to work with Kazuki again. He did a solid job with no mistakes in difficult circumstances.'
Peter visits the Hockenheimring for the first time in nine years this weekend. The Scot competed in the DTM championship for five seasons from 2000, regularly visiting the circuit, however his recent racing commitments have not seen him return to the German track in the past decade. 'I'm a fan of the Hockenheim circuit so look forward to racing there again. I've watched the ADAC GT Masters over the last few years and seen how competitive and well supported it is. It also follows the sprint one-hour race format, which I enjoy because of the close racing. We are at a slight disadvantage as we will run with extra ballast in the car due to being a guest car but I hope we can still demonstrate how strong the GT-R can be.'
Jody Fannin and Steven Kane team up in the #25 Nissan. Twenty-year-old Jody drove for the team in the 24 Hours of Spa and has conducted numerous tests for JRM over the year, plus raced in the first round of the British GT championship with the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3. 'I was pleased to get the call from JRM and to get another opportunity to sit in the Nissan before the end of the season,' the half South African, half British racer said. 'I enjoyed the Spa race but obviously things didn't go entirely to plan, so it will be good to try to get a strong finish at Hockenheim. I've not raced at the track before, but I feel comfortable with the team and know Steven so it will not take long to get up to speed.
'I think the format will suit us quite well,' he added. 'Steven is obviously a tough racer and very quick over one lap, and I enjoy the sprint races where you can really get your teeth into the action.'
Steven (GBR) finished, 'I'm looking forward to teaming up with Jody. He was very quick at Spa and is hugely motivated so I think we'll work well together. The ballast we carry is definitely going to make things hard, but we'll give it our best shot to come away with some points. We had a good pace at the weekend and showed that with a strong result at the end of the race. We know that Hockenheim will be a very different challenge. I've not been to the track before, but I am looking forward to going there - I've heard a lot of good things about it and the racing is always pretty exciting for the GT cars. We can take confidence from the fact that things seemed to come together really well last weekend in Blancpain.'
In a last minute deal it was off to Magny Cours in France for a round of French GT with JMB Racing in the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 sharing the car with Julien Briché. I hadn’t been to Magny Cours before and was hoping for a track walk before practice on Friday, but due to delays we got there late on Thursday as it was getting dark - and it was pitch black by the time I got to the first hairpin! With the help of the torch app on my iPhone I found my way around and at least had some idea of the kerbs etc. The first session was on Friday morning and I found my way around on very old rubber to get my bearings. As I was setting out for the second half hour session in the afternoon, the heavens opened, so it was back into the pits for wet rubber. As I headed out with new rubber, the rain stopped, so it was back in for slicks! The track was dry by the end of the session and I was a few tenths off my French team mate, after his 30 minutes, so was happy with that. After being close to 30 degrees on Friday, the temperature had dropped and it was wet for Saturday, so my first experience of a wet Magny Cours was in qualifying. I qualified 7th in my session, only a tenth of fifth place, which was a good start against some quality teams like ART, Sebastian Loeb Racing and Hexis Racing’s McLarens. I started Saturday’s one hour race seventh and climbed through the order up to fourth with a move on the Sport Garage Ferrari through the fast Estoril right hander onto the straight. The pit window opened and as the others pitted a little earlier than me, I led the race before pitting and handing over to Julien. Unfortunately we had to retire the car on the last lap with an exhaust issue, so weren’t classified. After some hard work by the team, the car was ready to run for Sunday’s race which was started by Julien. The race started dry but drizzle soon turned to proper rain, so he had to pit outside the pitstop window for wets (as did everyone else). After the second pitstop for the driver change we were running 16th. I made my way up to eleventh and was fastest car on track at one point. With 3 laps to go I was 13 seconds behind the 10th place Porsche - I closed the gap to just over 4 seconds by the flag but ran out of time to make up any more places. The GT Tour Paddock was very friendly and it was really good experience for me, learning a new track in constantly changing conditions against strong opposition. Thanks to JRM and JMB who did a great job all weekend, especially after the DNF in race one.