Circuit de la Sarthe
DREAM COMES TRUE FOR NISSAN’S GAMER-TURNED-RACER
Taking the chequered flag
In 2008 a young Spanish man called Lucas Ordonez read about a competition called Nissan PlayStation GT Academy. With long-held dreams of being a racing driver, Lucas purchased a PS3 and set about teaching himself how to play Gran Turismo.
He beat 25,000 gamers to the top prize, earned his race licence and claimed his prize to race a Nissan 350Z in the Dubai 24 Hours.
The story doesn’t end there though as Lucas impressed Nissan so much, the company decided to help him further his race career. Nissan teamed up with Signature Racing in early 2011 and Signatech Nissan was born. Lucas was given the opportunity to race a Nissan-powered LMP2 car in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Lucas’ dream came true today when, along with his team-mates Franck Mailleux and Soheil Ayari he earned a podium finish at the Le Mans 24 Hours, finishing second in class in the great race.
“Today all of my dreams came true,” said Lucas. “Three years ago I won an amazing prize but never in my wildest dreams did I think that it would take me all the way to the Le Mans podium. I have been on the biggest adventure you could ever imagine and I must thank Nissan and PlayStation for creating GT Academy! I also have to thank my two teachers, Franck and Soheil, from who I have learnt so much, and of course the Signatech Nissan boss, Philippe Sinault. Finally I must thank my family and friends for putting up with me while I pursue my dream. It will take a while for this to sink in for me but so far it is the most amazing feeling.”
“Lucas has done an incredible job, when you consider his background,” said Philippe Sinault. “It is a pleasure for us to work with him as he is 100% committed to his job. We only joined up with Nissan in January so we have come a very long way in a short space of time. For me and my team to see the efforts that Nissan has put into this Le Mans 24 Hours it motivates us all to do well and we are very happy about this.”
Next on the agenda for Lucas is the ILMC round at Imola in three weeks’ time. For GT Academy the third season final is currently taking place at Silverstone. The 12 finalists were at Le Mans over the weekend to get a glimpse of Lucas’ dream but are now heading home to fight it out to be the next Lucas Ordonez.
-source: lucas ordonez PR