Walkinshaw Looking Forward to Fresh Challenge as Championship Debuts at Hungaroring

25 August 2016

Pictured Sean is hoping Hungaroring will provide an opportunity to chalk-up his first overall top 10 finish of the Sprint Cup season.

Oxfordshire racing driver Sean Walkinshaw says he is very much looking forward to the new challenge which the penultimate round of the Blancpain Sprint Cup season will provide this weekend, 27th/28th August, as the series makes its maiden visit to the Hungaroring near Budapest.

Travelling to the famous Formula One venue in Hungary for the first time, the Sprint Cup will feature an excellent grid of 36 cars for its fourth round and potentially offers a levelling of the playing field for the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN driver and team-mate Ricardo Sánchez.

With few of the teams having tested at the track, which has a strong mix of high speed and low speed corners, NISMO Athlete Sean is hoping it will provide an opportunity for his Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 to chalk-up its first overall top 10 finish of the Sprint Cup season.

Importantly, the Chipping Norton driver arrives in Hungary off the back of a very strong race performance in the Total 24 Hours of Spa last month – round four of the sister Blancpain Endurance Cup – where, despite an electrical problem which lost the team significant time, the No.22 car finished 13th in the Pro-Am class.

“Spa was good, we learnt a lot and kept improving throughout, plus the team did a fantastic job with the car set-up and all of the pit stops”, he commented, “Hungaroring isn’t going to be one of our strongest tracks, but it has been resurfaced so that should help us and suit the Nissan better – the less bumpy a track the better for our car.

“There are lots of high speed corners which are what we want, but lots of low speed ones too so it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out. It’s a massive unknown for everyone really but that could shake things up.”

One of the biggest challenges for the Nissan entry this year has been qualifying which, more often than not, has left a huge amount of work to do in the races. With the Sprint Cup contests being just an hour each in duration, qualifying well is even more important than in the Endurance Cup.

“We’re hoping we can find some good qualifying pace, as it’s a new track for most teams, and not too many of them have pre-tested there, hopefully it will mean we’re on a bit more of a level playing field”, added Sean, “Our aim is still to try and win our class and finish in the top 10 overall, that’s what we’ll be trying to do in Hungary.”

Following two practice sessions at the Hungaroring tomorrow, Friday, 26th August, qualifying will take place on Saturday, 27th August, with the first of three sessions starting at 10.45 (UK time), ahead of the Qualification Race at 16.15 (UK time).

On Sunday, 28th August, the Main Race will commence at 11.30 (UK time) and both of the weekend’s contests will be streamed live at http://www.blancpain-gt-series.com/sprint/live