Sean Walkinshaw’s rapidly accelerating motorsport career will surge even further forward this year after today, Friday, 26th February, being named a NISMO Athlete ahead of the 2016 Blancpain GT Series where he will form part of Nissan GT Academy Team RJN.
Set to compete once again in both the Blancpain Endurance Series and the sister Sprint Series, the 22-year-old from Chipping Norton moves to the ‘official’ Nissan squad for his second season in the ultra-competitive categories.
As in 2015, where he raced with customer teams MRS GT-Racing and Always Evolving Motorsport, Sean will pilot a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 in the Endurance Series and Sprint Series and is absolutely elated to be graduating into the ‘works’ RJN team as a result of his impressive maiden season.
“This is an amazing opportunity to be part of Nissan’s official driver line-up and I’m looking forward to getting started”, he said, “Nissan GT Academy Team RJN has won Blancpain championships before and they’re clearly a very good team. With the best car, best team and a competitive driver line-up, I think we can be fighting for championships.”
In the Blancpain Endurance Series, the dual Scottish and Belgian national will partner Matt Simmons and Romain Sarazin in the Pro-Am Class. In the Sprint Series, where he was a podium finisher in 2015 with Craig Dolby, he will team-up with Ricardo Sánchez for an assault on the Silver Cup title.
Sean added: “My customer programme with the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 was a great platform on which I could learn about the car and the requirements of GT3 racing. It was a fantastic learning environment and I also think it was important to have a link to a successful and respected manufacturer like Nissan so early in my GT3 racing career.
“Heading into 2016, I’m expecting to be able to start very strongly and will be focused on keeping that momentum throughout the season. I’m honoured to be representing Nissan as a NISMO Athlete and very much looking forward to working with everyone at RJN. It’s all set to be an exciting year.”
The first official appearance for Sean as a NISMO Athlete will be during the upcoming pre-season test outing at Paul Ricard in southern France on 9th/10th March.
His first race meeting with RJN will take place at Misano in Italy over the weekend 9th/10th April, the opening round of the Blancpain Sprint Series, while the Endurance Series will also start in Italy, at Formula One venue Monza, on 23rd/24th April.
Blancpain Sprint Series – 2016 Calendar
Rd1 Misano, Italy – 9th/10th April
Rd2 Brands Hatch, UK – 7th/8th May
Rd3 Nurburgring, Germany – 2nd/3rd July
Rd4 Budapest, Hungary – 27th/28th August
Rd5 Barcelona, Spain – 1st/2nd October
Blancpain Endurance Series – 2016 Calendar
Rd1 Monza, Italy – 23rd/24th April
Rd2 Silverstone, UK – 14th/15th May
Rd3 Paul Ricard, France – 24th/25th June
Rd4 Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – 28th/29th/30th/31st July (Total 24 Hours of Spa)
Rd5 Nurburgring, Germany – 17th/18th September