NISMO drivers shuffled before SPA 24 Hours
A new lineup of drivers for NISMO's Blancpain run will include some Super GT and GT Academy blood as the British GT heads into Europe this weekend.
The biggest shakeup is the entry of two-time Super GT GT500 Champion Masataka Yanagida into the No. 35 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 for Spa 24 Hours. Further additions are Mark Shulzhitskiy, who's replacing Stanislav Sksenov. Meanwhile, the Silverstone-winning No. 80 GT-R keeps its lineup of Buncombe, Strauss, and McMillen. They get an extra, however, with Wolfgang Reip being added in as a fourth. NISMO fans may remember Reip as the chosen driver for the ZEOD RC this year.
"We like to shake up our driver line-ups every now and again," said Darren Cox, NISMO Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales. "I've said it before that winning GT Academy doesn't guarantee anyone a race seat for life. We expect maximum effort and top performances from our guys and recently Mark and Wolfie have shone."
Mark Shulzhitskiy has a particularly busy year this season, though. The 2012 GT Academy Russia winner will also compete in the remaining rounds of the European Le Mans Series, including next week in Austria where he's to be in the No. 28 Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan with 2012 FIA Formula Two champ Luciano Bacheta. Then, later this month, he'll also race in France and then, come October, in Portugal. All of this after coming off the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours with a very well-run race alongside co-driver Jacob Greaves.
So the NISMO paddock at the British GT Championship this weekend will have a strong lineup for the Belgian Spa 24 Hours.