Sebring 12 Hours
SIGNATECH NISSAN OUTSTANDING IN SEBRING QUALIFYING SESSION
Nissan made its return to the world of top-level international endurance racing today (Friday), with the Signatech Nissan team enjoying an excellent qualifying session ahead of the 'Twelve Hours of Sebring' in Florida, the opening race of the 2011 International Le Mans Cup (ILMC).
Sebring marks Nissan's first involvement as a prototype car in an international race series since 1998, and the Signatech Nissan team wasted no time in signalling their intent of being a force to be reckoned with this season, finishing first amongst the entered LMP2* class vehicles, and a very creditable 11th place overall out of a field of 56 cars.
The experienced Soheil Ayari took the helm as designated driver for the session, completing four laps of the challenging 3.7 mile circuit during the allotted 15 minute qualifying window, and clinching Signatech Nissan's final position on tomorrow's grid with a best time of 1:52.815.
Sebring also sees the Signatech Nissan car making its racing debut, following the announcement of a two-year official marketing partnership between Nissan and Signature Racing, part of the France-based Signature Group, earlier this year. Nissan is supplying its NISMO tuned VK series V8 racing engine for use in Signature Racing's chassis, with the partnership competing under the 'Signatech Nissan' banner within the ILMC.
Speaking after his qualifying performance, Ayari said: "It's great to qualify first in the LMP2 class and the car really felt in great shape out there, as it has done in the practice sessions all week. Obviously there's a big difference between a qualifying session and a 12 hour race, but I'm confident that Frank [Mailleux], Lucas [Ordonez] and myself can do very well tomorrow."