FIRST NURBURGRING 24 HOURS FINISH FOR GT ACADEMY WINNER

#123 Team GT Academy Nissan GT-R: Kazunori Yamauchi, Yasukichi Yamamoto, Tobias Schulze, Lucas Ordonez
#123 Team GT Academy Nissan GT-R: Kazunori Yamauchi, Yasukichi Yamamoto, Tobias Schulze, Lucas Ordonez

Photo by: Ed Fahey

Nissan’s original GT Academy winner, Lucas Ordonez, has ticked off another of the world’s best endurance races by completing the Nürburgring 24 Hours in a Nissan GT-R. Along with his team-mates Kazunori Yamauchi, Yasukichi Yamamoto and Tobias Schulze, the Spanish racer finished the notoriously difficult race around the 25km Nordschleife in 30th place overall and first in the SP8T class.

The result is impressive considering that the No.123 Nissan GT-R Club Track Edition is a production car, competing against many of the world’s top racing cars.

“I started my first stint quite carefully,” said Lucas after the race. “It is a lot of fun to overtake on the Nordschleife so I had a great time but I was also aware that a lot of big crashes were happening in the opening stages so I was careful too.”

Lucas’ favourite part of the race was his stint during the night when the car was “perfect” and he could get into the flow of the Nordschleife. He came back down to earth with a bump though during his next run.

“After having such a good run it the night, my morning shift was a real eye-opener,” said Lucas. “The temperature went up quite quickly and this really changed the handling compared to at night. It was still great to drive but it was mentally tough as I really had to concentrate and feel what the car was doing.”

“It was a pleasure for me to drive with the guys from Japan,” he continued. “I have learnt a lot this weekend and I have a new respect for the GT-R and this amazing race track.”

Also racing in the SP8T class was the No.23 Nissan GT-R Club Track Edition of Michael Krumm, Toshio Suzuki, Kazuki Hoshino and Tetsuya Tanaka, which finished in 99th position overall and second in class.

“This is a good result for the development programme of this car,” commented Krumm. “It is so fast for a road car, up to the pace of the GT3 cars. The performance is good and it was a lot of fun and very exciting to drive.”

The annual 24-hour race around the Nordschleife, dubbed the “Green Hell”, is a highlight of the endurance racing calendar and one of the hardest races in the world. Watched by 235,000 spectators the Nissan GT-R took another important step in its development and the first GT Academy racer proved that he can do anything a ‘regular’ racing driver can do.