Moller on podium in NSX GT3 Evo in France
Jens Moller maintained his lead of the Blancpain GT Sports Club with a hard-earned second-place finish in his NSX GT3 Evo at Circuit Paul Ricard.
Having lost the lead at the start of Sunday morning’s opening encounter, the Reno Racing driver challenged hard for first place before a spin at the final corner dropped him to fifth at one-third distance.
The double winner from Monza relentlessly made up positions and turned an 11-second deficit into one of just a few car lengths by the finish.
Moller ran wide while challenging for the lead of Race Two and was inexplicably given a drive-through penalty when a rival elected to run off the circuit and go around him as the Dane rejoined the circuit.
Having moved into the lead before taking his penalty, Moller fell to 11th place, but he charged hard, showing the speed and driveability of the NSX GT3 Evo to climb to fifth by the chequered flag.
In the weekend’s main event, the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, Jenson Team Rocket RJN featured a revised driver line-up with former British GT4 champion Ryan Ratcliffe joining regulars Philipp Frommenwiler and Matt McMurry.
With Balance of Performance adjustments having hit the NSX GT3 Evo’s performance, the trio qualified 13th in the Silver Cup category, but raced well and reached the finish of the six-hour race in ninth place.
Their car having completed 12 hours of trouble-free running in the series this year, Frommenwiler and McMurray hold eighth in the Drivers’ points table.
The IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship continued on the semi-permanent circuit on Detroit’s Belle Isle.
After topping the GTD class in opening practice, Christina Nielsen qualified the best of the Meyer Shank Racing NSX GT3 Evos second with team-mate Trent Hindman third.
Nielsen ran second throughout her stint, but lost the position during the mandatory pitstops. Co-driver Katherine Legge still looked set to finish on the podium until she was spun around by a rival in the final 10 minutes and slipped to ninth.
Hindman suffered a disastrous pitstop as a problem with a wheel-gun dropped his car to the back of the pack.
Co-driver Mario Farnbacher hit the wall soon after, ending their race prematurely and dropping them from first to fourth in the points while Legge/Nielsen remain eighth.
All four cars were competing as part of the NSX GT3 Customer Racing Programme; a global collaborative project with JAS Motorsport responsible for assembly of all cars.
Honda Performance Development (HPD) and M-TEC handle sales and technical support in North America and Japan respectively, with JAS responsible for these areas across the rest of the world.
Stefano Fini, JAS Motorsport GT3 Project Leader, said: “I think we’ve seen just how tough the competition is at the top levels of GT3 racing this weekend. Jens Moller has continued to show that the NSX GT3 Evo is the perfect car for a gentleman driver in this kind of competition and clearly had the fastest pace all weekend at Paul Ricard. The Jenson Team Rocket RJN team were perhaps more affected than most by the BoP change as the Silver Cup is fiercely-contested, while in IMSA, we saw that something as small as a wheel gun can have a huge effect on the outcome of a race, even when you have the pace to be right at the front.”
Main: Jens Moller, Reno Racing Honda NSX GT3 Evo, Blancpain GT Sports Club, Paul Ricard, France; Lower (in order): 1 Philipp Frommenwiler/Matt McMurry/Ryan Ratcliffe, Jenson Team Rocket RJN, Honda NSX GT3 Evo, Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, Paul Ricard, France; 2 Mario Farnbacher/Trent Hindman, Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo, IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, Detroit, USA.
About JAS Motorsport
Founded in 1995, JAS Motorsport is one of the world's leading touring car teams and constructors. Initially fielding Alfa Romeos in the ITC, JAS became a technical partner of Honda in 1998 and has been at the forefront of its activities with touring cars and rallying ever since. In 2012, JAS was chosen to develop, in partnership with Honda R&D, the Civic WTCC, with which it claimed the Manufacturers' world title a year later. JAS designed and built the Civic Type R TCR, which has claimed 19 major titles so far (seven with the current model), and is also responsible for the build of the NSX GT3 Evo race car.