The eighth and final round of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship takes place this Saturday in Bahrain. With championships still undecided there is a lot to play for in Bahrain but for one of the Nismo Athletes this race is providing a unique opportunity.
Wolfgang ‘Wolfie’ Reip won GT Academy Europe in 2012, beating 830,000 gamers to the top prize. Since then the popular Belgian has worked incredibly hard and played a key role in Nissan’s GT3 successes in the Blancpain Endurance and FIA GT Series. After enviously watching Mark Shulzhitskiy make his LM P2 debut in Shanghai, Wolfie is delighted to finally get his hands on the Greaves Zytek-Nissan, despite the fact that his first laps will be rather public.
“My first laps in an LM P2 car will be during Free Practice 1 in Bahrain,” said Wolfie. “I have trained in the Nismo Simulator to get a feel for the track so already I have a good grasp of the speed into the corners and the braking points. I have also upped my game in the gym as LM P2 is tougher on the body than GT3 and it will of course be hot in Bahrain. It looks like a good track; it has three pretty big straights, a lot of slow corners and three fast ones so it will be a good challenge for me.
“Considering this is my first race in an LM P2 car and my first race in the World Endurance Championship, I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself,” he continued. “My target is to learn but I hope to do this quickly and help my two teammates to get a good result. So far I think I can say that I am able to adapt to faster cars very quickly so you never know. A podium would be great. Imagine that!”
Bahrain is of course an important race for the LM P2 teams who are fighting for championship victory. Oak Racing occupies the top two positions on the leaderboard but with 26 points up for grabs in Bahrain it is still mathematically possible for Pecom Racing or G-Drive Racing to steal the glory. One thing is for sure though: the champions will be Powered by Nissan Nismo.
“Wolfie deserves this opportunity,” said Nissan’s Director of Global Motorsport, Darren Cox. “His first international race was in Dubai at the start of this year and he soon got a taste of real endurance racing when a car ahead of him shed a tyre into his path. The calm way he dealt with that showed us that we had found another top driver and he has gone from strength to strength in the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3, coming of age with a podium finish at the Spa 24 Hours.
“This race will of course decide the LM P2 titles,” he continued. “I would like to wish all the best to all of the Nissan teams and thank them for another successful year for the Nismo-tuned Nissan LM P2 engine.”