Nissan GT driver confirmed for V8 enduros

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Tuesday 27th May, 2014 - 1:30pm

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Alex Buncombe at Sydney Motorsport Park in February

Alex Buncombe at Sydney Motorsport Park in February

British GT driver Alex Buncombe will make his V8 Supercars debut in this year’s Pirtek Enduro Cup, Nissan Motorsport has confirmed.

The 32-year-old will line-up alongside Todd Kelly at the Sandown, Bathurst and Gold Coast events.

Buncombe was in Australia in February, where he gained experience of Bathurst as part of Nissan’s 12 Hour assault, before joining Nissan Motorsport for the pre-season V8 Supercars test at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Part of Nissan’s global driver exchange program, Buncombe competes regularly in the British GT Championship and Blancpain Endurance Series.

He will skip the final round of the British GT season at Donington in order to race at the Sandown 500.

“I really want to do a solid job for the team,” said Buncombe of his V8 Supercars foray.

“I haven’t had many laps in the car so the first job for me will be to get on the pace.

“It’s totally different to what I have been used to in Europe with the GT3 GT-R but that won’t be a problem I’m sure.”

Buncombe says he’s particularly looking forward to returning to Bathurst following a 12 Hour campaign that was cut shot by an early crash from co-driver Katsumasa Chiyo.

“It’s an extremely scary circuit but what an amazing place,” he said.

“To go there with the GT3 car was awesome. It was a shame the race ended the way it did but going back there in the V8 Supercar is going to be an amazing experience.

“I can’t imagine what it will be like to drive that car on that track so I just hope I can do a good job for everyone.

“I’ll be asking Todd for every tip he has got to help me as he has so much experience in the car.

“I drove his car at the test and he really helped me to get the most out of it so I will be picking his brains again when I get to Australia for sure.”

Kelly expressed his enthusiasm for sharing the #7 Jack Daniel’s Altima with the international.

“I’m extremely pleased we’ve been able to grab him as an endurance driver, not only because of his abilities and skills, but it just reinforces our relationship with Nissan Australia, Nissan globally and the NISMO Driver Exchange Program,” he said.

“He has experience at Mount Panorama and that is a huge bonus when getting an international driver in one of our cars at Bathurst.

“He was very fast in the GT-R, so I’m confident he’ll adapt quickly to the Altima there.

“Alex also did a few miles in my car at Eastern Creek at the pre-season test in pretty average conditions – it was a little bit of a wet track and dry track and he did a really good job.

“He’s almost the perfect fit for my car too – he’s almost identical size to me, he didn’t want to tamper with any of my stuff in the car. That is very handy.”

See below for the updated Pirtek Enduro Cup entry

No. Team Primary Driver Co-Driver Car
1 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Paul Dumbrell Holden
2 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Warren Luff Holden
4 Erebus Motorsport V8 Lee Holdsworth Craig Baird Mercedes
5 Ford Pepsi Max Crew Mark Winterbottom Steve Owen Ford
6 Ford Pepsi Max Crew Chaz Mostert Paul Morris Ford
7 Jack Daniel’s Racing Todd Kelly Alex Buncombe Nissan
8 Team BOC Jason Bright Andrew Jones Holden
9 Erebus Motorsport V8 Will Davison Alex Davison Mercedes
14 Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard Luke Youlden Holden
15 Jack Daniel’s Racing Rick Kelly David Russell Nissan
16 Wilson Security Racing Scott Pye Ashley Walsh Ford
17 Wilson Security Racing David Wall Steven Johnson Ford
18 Team JELD-WEN Jack Perkins Cameron Waters Ford
21 Advam Racing Dale Wood Holden
22 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Greg Murphy Holden
23 Repair Management Australia Racing Russell Ingall Holden
33 Valvoline Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Alexandre Premat Volvo
34 Valvoline Racing GRM Robert Dahlgren Greg Ritter Volvo
36 Norton Hornets Michael Caruso Dean Fiore Nissan
47 Supercheap Auto Racing Tim Slade Tony D’Alberto Holden
55 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds Dean Canto Ford
97 Team Tekno V.I.P. Petfoods Shane van Gisbergen Jonathon Webb Holden
222 Walkinshaw Racing Nick Percat Oliver Gavin Holden
360 Norton Hornets James Moffat Taz Douglas Nissan
888 Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Steven Richards Holden

 

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