Alex Buncombe is a British racing driver who spent most of his career in different sports car racing competitions with Nissan and RJN Motorsport. He was a champion two times in the Blancpain Endurance Series, winning the GT4 Cup in 2011 and then winning the GT3 Pro Cup in 2015. Currently, he drives for Bentley Team M-Sport in the Blancpain GT Series and other GT competitions.
Racing debut in the Formula Renault UK
Born in Taunton, England, Alex Buncombe started a racing career in the 2001 Formula Renault UK Championship. Driving for Aztec International team, he finished 23rd in the points without wins or podiums. Next year, he joined Saxon International for a part-time schedule in the Formula Renault UK. His last participation in Formula Renault was during the 2003 Winter Series with Falcon Motorsport, when he finished fifth in the points.
Alex joined RJN Motorsport in 2007
Buncombe left open-wheel racing in 2003 and paused from proper racing until 2007. He had one-off participation in the 2005 Trofeo Maserati, but he fully returned to racing with RJN Motorsport in the GT4 European Cup. His connection with RJN Motorsport is active still today.
He was driving Nissan 350Z in the GT4 European Cup, scoring two wins and four podiums in the first season to finish third in the final standings. He also joined Trackspeed Racing to drive Porsche 997 GT3 Cup in Silverstone's round of the FIA GT3 European Championship.
Alex Buncombe (left) and Lucas Ordonez are teammate since 2009
Two-time runner-up in the GT4 European Cup
Buncombe spent three more seasons in the GT4 European Cup with RJN Motorsport, until the end of 2010. In that period, he won seven times to finish second in the championship for two consecutive years. In 2008, he lost a title to Eric de Doncker. In 2009, Joe Osborne took the championship title.
In 2009, Buncombe's co-driver was the first ever Nissan GT Academy winner Lucas Ordonez. Later in a career, they spent lots of time racing together. In 2010 GT4 European Cup season, Bvuncomve was sharing a car with Jordan Tresson, finishing seventh in the points.
Alex Buncombe early in a career
Blancpain Endurance Series GT4 Cup winner in 2011
In 2011, Buncombe and RJN Motorsport switched their focus to the inaugural season of the Blancpain Endurance Series. They were running a Nissan 370Z in the GT4 Cup. Buncombe was sharing a car with Jordan Tresson and Christopher Ward. They were the race winners two times, including a GT4 class victory at 24 hours of Spa, to win the GT4 Cup title.
During the year, Buncombe also took part in some other endurance races, such were 24h Nurburgring or 24h Silverstone.
Alex Buncombe and Jann Mardenborough in the 2012 British GT Championship
Switching to GT3 class car in 2012
In 2012, Buncombe switched to the GT3 class, driving for RJN Motorsport both in the British GT Championship and Blancpain Endurance Series. His race car was a Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3. In the British championship, he was sharing a car with another GT Academy graduate Jann Mardenborough. With one victory, at Brands Hatch, they finished sixth in the points.
Member of the Nismo Global Athlete Program since 2013
In 2013, Nissan launched Nismo Global Athlete Program (today Nismo Global Driver Exchange) to share driving experience from various racing categories all over the world. Buncombe became a member of the program, continuing also to work with GT Academy graduates.
That year, his main competition was FIA GT Series, where he was driving the #35 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 for Nissan GT Academy Team RJN. His co-drivers were Lucas Ordonez and Wolfgang Reip. After ten races, Buncombe finished 7th in the points.
Besides FIA GT Series, Buncombe has a wide program of races in 2013. In the Blancpain Endurance Series, he was the Pro-Am class winner at Silverstone, finishing fourth in the final standings. He also had one-off appearances in the Japanese Super GT Series, French GT Championship and VLN Endurance Series.
Alex Buncombe participated in the V8 Supercars Championship in 2014 and 2015
Australian V8 Supercars adventure in 2014
In 2014, Buncombe contested with Nissan in the Blancpain Endurance Series and part-time in the British GT Championship. He scored one victory in the Pro-Am class of the Blancpain Endurance Series to finish 8th in the points.
As a part of the Nismo Global Driver Exchange program, Buncombe participated in several races in Australia. In February 2014, his debut at Bathurst 12 Hour was unsuccessful, as the team retired after an accident. He returned to Australia in September and October to participate in four endurance races of the V8 Supercars Championship, including a famous Bathurst 1000. He was a co-driver to Todd Kelly in the #7 Nissan Altima. In four races, their best result was seventh place at Bathurst 1000.
2015 Blancpain Endurance Series champions: Chiyo, Reip and Buncombe
2015 Blancpain Endurance Series champion
In 2015, Buncombe managed to win Blancpain Endurance Series GT3 Pro title. He was sharing the #23 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 with Katsumasa Chiyo and Wolfgang Reip. They won the race at Circuit Paul Ricard and finished third in season's finale at Nürburgring, taking a title with a 3-point advantage over Bentley M-Sport team.
In 2015, Buncombe was preparing for a debut at 24 hours of Le Mans, but the whole project of Nissan LMP1 car failed. In autumn, he traveled to Australia to join Todd Kelly again in the V8 Supercars endurance races. Their best result was 13th place in the first race of Gold Coast 600.
Alex Buncombe and his successor
Continuing to drive Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3
With a championship title in his pocket, Buncombe continued to drive for Nissan GT Academy Team RJN in the 2016 Blancpain GT Series, both in endurance and sprint races. His teammates were Lucas Ordonez and Mitsunori Takaboshi. In the Endurance Cup, they scored one podium to finish 9th in the points. In the Sprint Cup, they failed to score points.
In 2017, Buncombe continues with Endurance Cup commitments only, sharing the #23 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 with Lucas Ordonez and Katsumasa Chiyo. Their best result was the fifth place at Circuit Paul Ricard. In 2018, Alex was sharing the #23 Nissan with Lucas Ordonez and Matt Parry, finishing just in 22nd place.
Switching to Bentley in 2019
After many years with Nissan, Alex made a big change in 2019 by joining Bentley Team M-Sport to drive a Bentley Continental GT3 in Blancpain GT Series and other GT competitions. However, he still stays connected with Nissan, driving a Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 for KCMG in some events.