Max Chilton, Alex Buncombe complete Nissan LMP1 lineup

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One Nissan veteran and one former Formula 1 driver have rounded out the lineup for the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO in the FIA World Endurance Championship this year.

Max Chilton will join Nissan for the full season with Alex Buncombe in the lineup at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the team’s third car.

Buncombe is a Nissan regular, having worked his way up through the manufacturer’s GT program and mentoring Nissan GT Academy drivers on their way up. Some of his on-board passing videos have garnered huge numbers of hits on YouTube.

Chilton, meanwhile, is a surprise choice. The Englishman had appeared to focus on North American racing with an extensive Indy Lights testing program with Carlin Racing this winter, although he was never confirmed to the team’s second seat alongside the previously confirmed Ed Jones.

MotorSportsTalk has learned Jenson Button had been close to a Nissan deal had his McLaren Honda deal not been signed, and a Swiss report a couple weeks ago linked Adrian Sutil to the seat, as well. Chilton, by all accounts, has not been publicly in the frame until now.

Chilton’s signing means two seats he could have been in the frame for – the aforementioned Carlin Indy Lights seat and the second seat at Manor Marussia F1 – remain vacant.

Chilton joins Marc Gene, Michael Krumm, Jann Mardenborough, Olivier Pla and Harry Tincknell for the season-opening race at Silverstone on April 12. The configuration of the driver line-ups for the No. 22 and No. 23 Nissans will be announced at a later date.

Buncombe will join the team at Le Mans, where he will race in the No. 21 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO with Tsugio Matsuda and Lucas Ordonez.

LMP1 testing continues this week at Sebring International Raceway with Chilton, Gene, Pla, Mardenborough, and Tincknell on driving duty.

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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