Nissan confirms GT Academy drivers in bid for 2012 success
Three drivers who graduated from virtual to real life racing through the Nissan GT Academy will compete in some of the world's toughest endurance series this year.
Young Spaniard Lucas Ordonez (26), who came second in class at Le Mans last year, has joined Greaves Motorsport and will be racing for championship honours in an LMP2 Zytek-Nissan with Tom Kimber-Smith and Alex Brundle. The first person to win the GT Academy, his career has rocketed from armchair gamer to formidable racer.
At Le Mans 24 Hours, Ordonez will race alongside Martin and Alex Brundle. It will be Martin's first drive at the endurance race for a decade.
"Nissan has set me my next challenge: an overall championship victory," said Ordonez.
"With two top team-mates and a championship-winning team I am aiming to win the European Le Mans Series outright."
2010 GT Academy winner Jordan Tresson will move up to the LMP2 class of the new FIA World Endurance Championship with Signatech Nissan. The 23-year-old Frenchman will also compete at Le Mans this summer.
He said: "Racing at Le Mans, especially for a French driver, is a special dream. To be racing with a French team, both at Le Mans and in the FIA World Endurance Championship at so many legendary race tracks, is almost more than I can imagine."
The youngest driver to compete is 20-year-old Brit Jann Mardenborough. He won the third GT Academy season just a few months ago and is now ready to compete in the Blancpain GT3 Endurance Series with the new Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3.
"A year ago I was on a gap year and hadn't even applied to enter GT Academy and now I'm heading into my first full season as a racing driver," explained Mardenborough.