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BRITISH GT PODIUM DESPITE EXTRA PENALTY
Nissan’s Jann Mardenborough finished the British GT weekend at Snetterton up on the podium, despite being saddled with an extra time penalty…for being too fast!
Saturday’s qualifying session was cancelled after torrential rain fell at Snetterton so Jann and his team-mate Alex Buncombe would start the two one-hour races in 11th and fifth places after the grid slots were allocated according to practice times.
Jann got away well from 11th place at the start of race one and soon began to make his way up the order. In just a few enthralling laps he was challenging for third place when he made contact with the Porsche of championship-leader David Ashburn. He quickly recovered but dropped down the order to sixth place. With little time left in his stint he pitted to hand the Nissan GT-R over to Alex.
As the duo won the last British GT race they had a 15-second success penalty to add to their pit stop time in this race. They also had to wait an extra four seconds after a rather unique penalty had been applied.
Jann is classified correctly as a bronze driver in British GT, as he has little racing experience. Alex is a silver as he has been racing for many years. Although Jann can’t be classified as a silver the organisers have ruled that he is too fast to be a bronze and applied the four second penalty usually reserved for a silver-silver driver line-up.
After the changeover it was decided that the car should be retired from race one to get a small amount of front-end damage repaired for race two. Spurred on by the penalty, Jann was ready for battle.
It was Alex’s turn to take the start for race two. He did an extra lap through the pits to check all the repairs were good before heading to the grid. Unfortunately this isn’t allowed in British GT so as soon as the race got underway he had to take a drive through penalty!
From that moment the hunt was on. Alex began the fight back before handing over to Jann and between them they clawed their way back through the field. At the chequered flag Jann was up to an incredible third place.
“Who knows what would have happened if the race had been a few laps longer,” said GT Academy Team RJN boss Bob Neville. “We’ve right on the heels of the championship leaders now and with two more events to go we have everything to play for.”
The next British GT race will be held at Silverstone on 9 September before the season finale at Donington Park on 30 September. The Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 is now just two points shy of the leaders so the scene is set for an incredible championship battle that could go all the way to the wire.