SPORTSCAR SWITCH


Matt Parry will make his sportscar racing debut in 2017, having agreed a deal to pilot RJN Motorsport’s #22 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.

The Welsh ace makes the switch from single-seaters having reached the heights of GP3, standing atop the podium in 2016 and posting top ten championship finishes in each of his campaigns. Parry’s open-wheel career also includes titles in both Formula BMW and Formula Renault, leading to his achievements being recognised with the 25th McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, where he got his first taste of GT machinery during the assessment process.

The 23-year old joins RJN Motorsport after similarly impressing in a series of GT tests over the winter, and will partner Jersey’s Struan Moore and Australia’s Matt Simmons in all five Blancpain endurance rounds this season. Despite having focused on single-seaters since graduating from an ultra-successful karting career, Parry insists that he will have no trouble adapting to the very different sportscar arena.

“After racing in GP3 for two years, we evaluated our options over the winter and, while there were opportunities to continue in single-seaters, the chance to link up with a team like RJN and run in a championship-winning car like the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 was too good to pass up,” Parry explained, “I already had a taste for GTs following the McLaren Autosport BRDC assessment, and getting the chance to test different cars in the last few months convinced me that it was the right time to make the step over to sportscars – and endurance racing in particular. That was a big attraction of this deal as endurance racing is one of the few things missing from my CV, and I’m really looking forward to testing myself in the cauldron of Blancpain competition."

RJN knows what it takes to succeed in the hotly-contested Blancpain Series, having enjoyed overall success in the 2015 endurance championship, while Parry will be partnered by two drivers with previous series experience, as both Moore and Simmons competed there last season.

“With Matt Parry, we have a very talented driver from a pure single-seater background who is looking to make the transition to GT Racing,” said RJN team principal Bob Neville, “We are, of course, delighted he has joined us to achieve this.”

The 2017 Blancpain GT Championship Endurance Cup comprises five rounds, starting at Monza (Italy) over 22-23 April and taking in events at Silverstone (UK), Paul Ricard (France) and Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), before culminating at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona (Spain) in early October.

“The Spa 24 Hours is an exciting addition to my schedule for 2017, but obviously I’m looking forward to working with my new team-mates and bringing home good results for RJN, Nissan and NISMO at all five rounds,” Parry commented, “I already know all of the circuits, having raced on them in Formula Renault and GP3, and Nissan and RJN have been successful there in the past, so I’m confident that we’ll be competitive everywhere we go this season. The test days at Paul Ricard over 13-14 April will tell us a lot and I can’t wait to get started on this new adventure.”

The Blancpain Endurance Series enjoys extensive live and highlights coverage on the BT Sport and Motors TV channels in the UK.

Parry retains the support of Sport Wales through the use of its facilities at the Welsh Institute of Sport in Cardiff.

 

Article created by Craig Llewellyn.