March 26, 2013


All-gamer entry motivated to punch above their weight at Nogaro

The new-for-2013 FIA GT Series gets underway this weekend at Nogaro in France and the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN squad is ready to take its pair of Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 race cars to the limit as they go head to head with the likes of the McLaren MP4-12C, Mercedes SLS AMG, Audi R8 LMS Ultra, BMW Z4, Ford GT and Ferrari 458.

Nissan is taking a calculated gamble in 2013 by running an ‘All-Gamer’ entry in the Pro-Am category, which sees the 2012 winners of the European and Russian GT Academy competitions, Wolfgang Reip and Mark Shulzhitskiy, go into battle in the #32 Nissan GT-R against much more experienced drivers.

Their toughest competition could come from the other side of the garage as the #35 YouTube branded GT-R will be raced by the original gamer-to-racer Lucas Ordonez and his very swift teammate Alex Buncombe. Lucas and Alex will also race in the Pro-Am category.

Nissan's Director of Global Motorsport, Darren Cox, commented: “We know that year after year GT Academy produces top quality racing drivers who go on to have successful seasons alongside their professional mentors. This time we decided to throw Mark and Wolfie in at the deep end and pair them together in one GT-R, putting them up against Lucas and Alex. I am absolutely confident that all four drivers will deliver in the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3s.”

The FIA GT race weekend consists of two one-hour sprint races: the Qualifying Race and then the Main Race at the end of the weekend. However, before they can race the drivers have to qualify. The FIA GT qualifying procedure involves the first driver setting a time during a 15-minute session, followed by his teammate then doing the same in a second 15-minute session. The 10 fastest cars are then entered into the Superpole, during which each nominated top 10 driver takes his turn to do two clear timed laps in an attempt to grab the highest places on the grid for the Qualifying Race. There is no room for excuses about traffic in FIA GT Superpole.

Both the Qualifying- and Main Races include a mandatory pit stop where a driver and tyre change must take place between the 25th and 35th minutes of the race. Points are awarded for both races but the big points are earned in the Main Race. This means it is vital to have a clean run in the Qualifying Race in order to set yourself up for a strong position in the Main Race.

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