During this weekend of October 1 and 2, the Blancpain series had their final meeting of the season in the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with the run that finally gave the tight championship team HTP Motorsport.
This championship, which combines the disciplines Sprint (speed race) and Endurance (endurance race of 3 hours) is a great showcase for supercars of the category GT3, from the Audi R8 LMS up to the Mercedes AMG GT3 without forgetting of course alNissan GT-R NISMO GT3.
In Engine.is in fact, , we had the opportunity to attend the last grand prix of the season thanks to the japanese manufacturer that, in addition to offering us the opportunity of see the work of the team Nissan GT Academy Team RJN in the box moments before the race with a guided tour Lucas Ordoñez, you told us some details about the current car and the difficulties they have to contend with on the track (cars more current and light) until you reach a complete renovation and very competitive in 2018; and all this after the interview with the Global Director of Nissan Motorsport, Mike Carcamo with which we had the opportunity to chat and get to know their impressions about NISMO and the competition.
The trajectory of Mike Carcamo with Nissan did not begin with his arrival to NISMO this year, preceding 14 years in Nissan Mexico in addition to a wide range of experience in competition with Ilmor Engineering until the opportunity arose to lead the project of competition of the japanese firm.
¿How you have found the division of motorsport to your arrival?
The truth is that I did not expect my arrival to NISMO to happen so soon, but I ran into a team of over 200 people at offices in Japan and many, many competitions all over the world: Australia, Japan, Europe, USA, Canada, events in Africa,… try to understand all of that, to see which is our map in the picture motorspors and where we are today is what I have had to do this year. From there we will try to propose a plan to the medium/long term in the competition.
Speaking of the Blancpain. How important they are to NISMO level competition?
The Blancpain is the best competition in the category GT3 for size, competence, and level. Here Nissan has been champion twice, but in a year you can be a winner and another fight by the middle of the table. A challenge.
¿how Much is the importance of having a car on the circuit for cars in the street?
it Is a visual connection. You can see the technology purchases at the track, and what is on the track at the dealer; it is a very important that is not in the prototype or Formula 1.
If you arrive at the circuit in your GT-R, you see the race, you end up on the podium and back home again on your GT-R, you know that you’re riding in the same car that got it, that is important and special especially in GT3.
In Blancpain involved two GT-R Nismo GT3 with the ridges 22 and 23 in the series sprint (race) and endurance (resistance). What are the same car?
yes, you are. There are small changes to the racing-type resistance, mechanical durability, such as the brakes, but in essence, the preparation is the same on both cars. The difference between the two lies in the experience of the pilots; while one is Pro-Team, the other use it for GTAcademy.
Now that you mention GTAcademy. How do you see today, after these years of experience and what is your assessment?
I’m sure no one believed the first year that it was going to work, and is already the eighth year where we’ve discovered to drivers such as Lucas Ordonez or Jann Mardenborough. I think that is the most important thing that has made Nissan and Nismo for the sport, it is possible to create pilots from a different source than the traditional, open the doors to talent that for one reason or another would not have had the opportunity. No one has that.
¿What period of adaptation you need in order to a winner of GTAcademy is a real pilot? What is it that they lack?
What you see people is the winner of a video game just driving a racing car, but after that there is a short but very intense period of adaptation with intensive courses in media, psychology, physical training, simulation, skill, piloting vehicles of various categories, Racetrack (learn to compete with a car, as to overtake, when to do it or not…) this whole system in which we are unique and can last about 6 months to get a pilot ready for a first race; probably not win, but will be able to compete in a professional manner.
from there it is reasonable to wait 1 to 3 years for the pilot to reach a good level.
In that case does That I agree on the racing program?
Exact. We have been in GT3 from 2012, with the GT-R and is our “brand”. The GT-R and GT3 are brothers. While there’s a car in the street, you are going to have a car in the races.
¿What assessment do you make of Lucas Ordonez as a pilot? What is today a racing driver at the same level that others who come of glasses promotion?
there is no doubt. There is more to see the results in competition, their podiums… is an international star, greet him in the pitlane as a professional pilot. When other pilots to accept you know that you are at the same level and Luke has had to fight its image and prove it in the circuit. For the benefit of other new pilots in GTAcademy is the work you’ve done to Luke and what he fought for it, has been the face of GTAcademy for 8 years.
In the picture of the competition it seems that there are tests, such as the TCR Series that are growing. Do you have any plan for the future?
Part of my role is to observe the competitions of all the sports engine and we are always evaluating and seeing where the market is moving. We are in GT3 because we have a GT-R, we would have to have a car aligned for TCR with sufficient means and support to have a good investment so that, although we do not rule out the possibility in the future, as of today we do not have a plan for TCR. In the end, we make motorsport to sell cars.
¿And at Le Mans? What a LMP1 Nissan?
All the tabs are moving and there are always ideas on the paper, but today we are not preparing anything for Le Mans. The program LMP1 ended last year and by the time we do not intend to prepare anything more.