The Motul Team RJN Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 assault on the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup got off to an unlucky start at the first round of the championship at Monza.
The No.22 GT-R of Brits Struan Moore, Matt Parry and Australian GT Academy winner Matt Simmons pulled off a 13th place finish in the three hour battle.
The trio had looked set for a top ten finish only to suffer a late race drive-through penalty for contact.
The No.23 machine piloted by the Nissan factory stars was even more unlucky with Lucas Ordóñez left with nowhere to go when he was caught up in a massive green flag crash.
Contact between two cars on the start caused drama for the tightly packed 50 car field with Ordóñez one of 16 cars caught in the crash – an incredible 32 per cent of the field involved in the incident.
Teammates Katsumasa Chiyo and Alex Buncombe sadly never got to drive in the race.
The 13th place finish for the No.22 car came after a brilliant performance in qualifying by Matt Parry who put the car sixth on the grid.
“It felt good to be able to pick off the cars ahead of me at the start of my stint, and the car felt really good for the entire time I was on track,” Parry said.
“The penalty was just one of those things, and I’ll learn from it, but it’s disappointing to think that, without the drive-though, we could have finished well inside the top ten.
“That would have been a fantastic debut for the No.22 car, but I think we can look forward to the next race with a lot of confidence.”
Motul Team RJN will now set its sights on the second round of the championship at Silverstone in the UK on May 13-14.