NISSAN MOTORSPORTS

April 2, 2013

NISSAN RACERS TAKE PRO-AM PODIUM AT NOGARO

Silverware brightens up a gray afternoon in the South of France

Nogaro, France (1st April,2013) - Lucas Ordonez and Alex Buncombe took their YouTube-liveried Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 to third place in the Pro-Am class of the FIA GT Series race at Nogaro in France today. Team mates Wolfgang Reip and Mark Shulzhitskiy, two of Nissan's newest gamers-turned-racers, took a creditable fifth in class after competing in conditions that made it hard for even the professionals to keep all four wheels on the tarmac.

The teams were greeted by gray skies this morning when they arrived at Nogaro for the main race of the weekend. The weather hadn't been typical for the South of France all weekend but it saved the worst for race day. This was great news for Nissan though as the GT-R is suited best to circuits where it can really ‘stretch its legs’ but the twists and turns of Nogaro were nicely watered down by the rain, which helped to put the GT-Rs back on a level playing field.

The FIA GT Series has two races each weekend. The Qualifying Race took place yesterday and it looked like Alex and Lucas were closing in on a good grid position for today's big race, until Lucas was taken out by a BMW, whose driver later received a 30-second penalty for his actions. This left Lucas with a lot of work to do today as he had to start from 19th place on the grid. In the No.32 GT-R Wolfie and Mark finished a solid 14th in the Qualifying Race, turning in a quality performance in their first ever high profile sprint race.

Today's main race started behind the safety car due to the rain. The safety car controlled the pack through lap one and then the race was on. Wolfie found himself having to hold off a charging Stephane Ortelli for a lap then not long after that it became Gamer vs. F1 driver when Wolfie was challenging Karun Chandhok!

With the wet conditions catching out the professionals and even the race leaders crashing into one another the performance of Nissan's gamers was first class at Nogaro. Wolfie handed the No.32 GT-R over to Mark halfway through the race and the Russian GT Academy winner then had a clean run to the flag, taking 14th place overall and fifth in the Pro-Am class.

In the No.35 YouTube GT-R Alex had taken over from Lucas and was powering his way through to an incredible seventh place overall, which translated into third place in Pro-Am; a fantastic result for the first FIA GT race of the season.

Nissan's Director of Global Motorsport, Darren Cox, commented: “That was a great drive by the guys in the YouTube GT-R; exactly the professional standard we would expect to see from Al and Lucas. Imagine where they could have finished if they hadn't been taken out in the Qualifying Race! It's always a great pleasure for us to see our guys racing against ex-F1 drivers like Karun Chandhok and Ricardo Zonta as it's a very clear indication of their abilities.

“The conditions were very difficult for Wolfie and Mark. These guys only started racing at the end of last year so to come here and keep a cool head in these conditions is remarkable. They weren't fazed at all and both put in very creditable performances and brought the car home in one piece on a day when many more experienced drivers didn't.”

Click images above to see larger versions.

 

[ Race Results ] Round 1 - PRO-AM Class Qualifying Race
Pos No Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 12 Audi R8 LMS N.Mayr-Melnhof/R.Rast Belgian Audi Club Team WRT 1:00'25.877
2 14 Audi R8 LMS C.Viera/C.Campanico Novadriver 20.605
3 7 Ford GT M.Stumpf/C.Ricci ACL by Rodrive Competicoes 53.529
4 6 BMW E89 Z4 A.Ebrahim/J.Jousse Team India by BMW Team India 59.173
5 25 Lamborghini LP560-4 D.Baumann/H.Proczyk GRT Grasser Racing Team 1'02.658
7 32 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 W.Reip/M.Shulzhitskiy Nissan GT Academy Team RJN 1'13.821
8 35 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 L.Ordonez/A.Buncombe Nissan GT Academy Team RJN 3Laps
[ Race Results] Round 1 - PRO-AM Class Championship Race
Pos No Machine Driver Team Time / Behind
1 14 Audi R8 LMS C.Viera/C.Campanico Novadriver 1:00'40.277
2 12 Audi R8 LMS N.Mayr-Melnhof/R.Rast Belgian Audi Club Team WRT 2.802
3 35 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 L.Ordonez/A.Buncombe Nissan GT Academy Team RJN 3.389
4 25 Lamborghini LP560-4 D.Baumann/H.Proczyk GRT Grasser Racing Team 16.190
5 32 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 W.Reip/M.Shulzhitskiy Nissan GT Academy Team RJN 53.263

 

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