Matt Parry will return to the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup in 2018, having agreed to a second year driving the RJN Motorsport-run Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.
The Cardiff-born racer made the switch from a successful single-seater career at the start of 2017, and belied his lack of GT experience to star at the wheel of the team’s #22 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 over the five rounds of the Blancpain Series.
Although fate conspired to keep his car out of the points, Parry’s pace and performance were impressive enough to see him step up to the #23 RJN car for 2018, partnering established Nissan drivers Alex Buncombe and Lucas Ordonez in pursuit of race wins.
“This is the perfect start to 2018,” 24-year-old Parry, the 25th McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner, commented, “The move to GT racing has been a good one for me, and I’m looking forward to returning with RJN aboard the Nissan in 2018. I learned a lot over the five rounds of the Blancpain Series last year and I’m keen to put that into practice next season.
“It’s exciting to be moving over to the #23 car alongside Alex and Lucas, and it should put me in a position to be challenging for race wins, especially with the new 2018 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 coming on stream. The car has shown great promise in testing this year and should hopefully be a contender from round one. Both Alex and Lucas have long relationships with Nissan and are quick drivers in their own right, so the three of us will be the perfect combination – and one for the other teams to fear.”
The 2018 Blancpain GT Championship Endurance Cup comprises five rounds, starting at Monza (Italy) over 21-22 April and taking in events at Silverstone (UK) and Paul Ricard (France) before the headline Spa 24 Hours at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) in late July. The series culminates at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona (Spain) over the weekend of 29-30 September.
“The Blancpain schedule is the same as 2017 so there will be no need to spend time learning new circuits,” Parry added. “That means we can get straight down to business and work at getting the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 on the pace from the very first lap.
“We didn’t always have the best of luck last season, so I’m particularly keen to make a good start and get amongst the points – and podiums – from round one. I’m grateful to RJN, Nissan, Sony and Motul for giving me the opportunity to return and build on the potential we showed in 2017 and can’t wait to get started!”
The team will be known as the GT Sport Motul Team RJN.
Long-time Nissan partner Sony will support the RJN-run programme in 2018, expanding a partnership which dates back ten years to the launch of GT Academy in 2008. The 2018 programme will showcase the latest iteration of the Gran Turismo franchise – GT Sport – which was released last year.
The virtual to reality link continues in 2018 with the colour scheme for the two Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 entries designed on PlayStation in the GT Sport livery editor. International synthetic lubricants specialist Motul, meanwhile, continues its own long-term partnership with the Nissan marque with branding on both RJN cars in 2018.