Alex Buncombe will rejoin KCMG in California for Laguna Seca’s Intercontinental GT Challenge round, the California 8 Hours next weekend.
Long time Nissan GT specialist Buncombe will join Katsumasa Chiyo and Josh Burdon in the #35 car.
Buncombe will arrive fresh from his maiden VLN Endurance Championship outing with KCMG at the Nurburgring and will be reunited with his 2015 Blancpain GT Series team-mate Chiyo, having won the championship together that season.
Alongside Burdon, they will look to show the front-running pace the car displayed in the Dubai 24 Hour and Bathurst 12 Hour races.
In the #18 Nissan GT-R, the line-up remains unchanged. 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 winner Oliver Jarvis comes with prior knowledge of the track due to his experience in IMSA. Alexandre Imperatori and Edoardo Liberati join the versatile British driver. The trio was in contention for a podium finish last time out at Bathurst, which they will aim to secure on the 3.602 km circuit.
The circuit is most famous for the fearsome ‘Corkscrew’ corner, a challenging left-right bend which plummets 18 meters in elevation beyond the blind crest and apex of the corner as you approach uphill. Meanwhile, minimal escape roads and barriers in close proximity make this one of the toughest tracks in the world.
Practice will begin on Thursday (28 March), with qualifying and the pole shootout taking place on Friday, before the race gets underway at 8:30 am (local time) on Sunday morning.
KCMG is contesting all five rounds of the Intercontinental GT Challenge with two Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 cars. In addition to this, KCMG has also committed to the VLN Endurance Championship and Nurburgring 24 Hours.
Alex Buncombe, #35 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I’m very pleased to be joining KCMG for the California 8 Hours this weekend at Laguna Seca. The opportunity will reunite me with my old team-mate Katsumasa Chiyo and I’m looking forward to sharing the car with Josh Burdon also. The team showed excellent pace at the opening round of the IGTC in Bathurst so I’m hoping we can carry this speed into Laguna and challenge for a strong result.”
Katsumasa Chiyo, #35 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I’m really excited for the California 8 Hours and looking forward to working again with my old team-mate “Al Bundy” and young gun Josh! The track is new for us but everyone knows it well from Gran Turismo. The team have been working so hard after Bathurst so I hope we can give them good results with both cars. I want to throw everything I can in this race for the team and fans.”
Josh Burdon, #35 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “Super excited for this next IGTC event at Laguna Seca. This was one of my favourite tracks on the PlayStation as a young kid so looking forward to driving here. After a good performance in Bathurst, we have high expectations of another strong showing and are looking to bring back some trophies. Excited to welcome Alex Buncombe to our line-up and begin work.”
Alexandre Imperatori, #18 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I am looking forward to Laguna Seca and round two of the IGTC. We were strong in Bathurst but ultimately left Australia frustrated and we certainly want to turn it around this weekend. The team is working hard to optimise every area. Laguna Seca is a new track for me but I already can’t wait to drive this very special circuit and fight for a top result.”
Oliver Jarvis, #18 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “After such a strong showing at Bathurst I can’t wait to be reunited with my team-mates and get back in the #18 Nissan GT-R. Laguna Seca is a track I know well from IMSA and I’m hopeful that we will once again be strong and that this time we can convert that pace into a podium result.”
Edoardo Liberati, #18 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “Really looking forward to race at another iconic track, Laguna Seca. We are a strong team and showed it at Bathurst, so I am confident of a good race and a podium result. The team has worked hard on the development of our Nissan GT-R in the last month, we are more than ready for it.”
Ian Geekie, Team Manager: “The improved reliability of our cars following the Dubai 24H was made very clear in Bathurst which gave us an opportunity to show our speed. It didn’t quite come together there but we will take everything learnt so far into aiming for improved results. Obviously, with the limited regulations, there is only so much we can do but our team has explored every avenue to extract more potential from the car. I’m confident we can deliver at Laguna Seca.”