Nissan has a busy weekend at Silverstone with the opening round of the WEC and ELMS plus the first race of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Monza.
Top Marques fight it out for endurance glory
The popular Blancpain Endurance Series is a tough battleground. At Monza four Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 race cars will go head-to-head with the best GT3 cars from Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes and Porsche. With a maximum capacity 60-car grid, the season-opening race is set to be a thriller.
USA and Germany join the team for Blancpain Endurance Series
Nissan GT Academy Team RJN will have additional drivers in the No.32 and No.35 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 race cars for the Blancpain Endurance Series. German GT Academy winner Peter Pyzera will join Wolfgang Reip and Mark Shulzhitskiy in the No.32 GT-R and Steve Doherty, the winner of GT Academy USA, will race with Alex Buncombe and Lucas Ordonez in the No.35 YouTube-liveried car.
Steve Doherty will see a childhood dream come true this weekend: “I’m proud and excited to be part of Blancpain as it has some of the best GT racing in the world. It will be trial by fire for Peter and me as the standard of racing is so high. I’m also super excited that we are racing at Monza as this was the track I always chose as a kid when I played my favourite arcade game so it’s going to be a dream come true for me.”
The three-hour race at Monza gets going at 14:15hrs CET this Sunday.
8 out of 10 LMP2 cars prefer Nissan
When it comes to sportscar racing the powerplant of choice in the LMP2 category is the Nismo-tuned Nissan VK45DE V8 engine. Of the 10 cars entered in the LMP2 class at Silverstone, eight are powered by Nissan Nismo.
Nissan’s Official WEC Partner Team in 2013, which runs under the Russian flag, is G-Drive Racing by Delta-ADR, fielding two Oreca 03 Nissans in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The No.26 car will see lead driver, Russian racer Roman Rusinov, competing for victories with his two team-mates John Martin and Mike Conway.
Conway, who makes his sportscar racing debut at Silverstone said: “I’m really looking forward to this new challenge. I had my first go in the Oreca Nissan at Paul Ricard recently and even though I only had about a dozen laps the pace was there straight away. I think the fast nature of Silverstone will really bring out the best in the Oreca Nissan. I’m here to win and I think we have the package to do that so I’m setting my focus high.”
The competition for the No.26 car will come from the other side of the G-Drive Racing garage as the No.25 car is raced by ex-F1 racer Antonio Pizzonia, Tor Graves and James Walker. A strong challenge can also be expected from the brace of Oak Racing Morgan Nissans - one of which is raced by Alex Brundle who competed alongside Lucas Ordonez last year - and of course from the multi-championship winning Greaves Motorsport team. The Pecom racing entry is always in the hunt and new to WEC is the Chinese KCMG team whose Morgan chassis will also be powered by Nissan Nismo.
The opening round of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship gets underway at Silverstone on Sunday at 13:00hrs CET.
Six Nissans bidding for the top spot
The rejuvenated European Le Mans Series also makes its debut at Silverstone and there are six LMP2 cars powered by Nissan Nismo competing for the outright race victory. The new three-hour format looks set to provide sprint-style racing for the LMP2 runners. Thiriet by TDS Racing, Greaves Motorsport, Boutsen Ginion Racing, Murphy Prototypes, Signatech, and Jota are all winning teams so the competition on track is going to be thrilling.
The ‘3 Hours of Silverstone’ takes place this Saturday at 16:00hrs CET.