PlayStation to P1 at Le Mans!

February 14, 2015

PlayStation to P1 at Le Mans!

February 14, 2015

jann_2_14_15Two young drivers who just a few years ago were PlayStation gamers dreaming of racing for a manufacturer in LM P1 at Le Mans had their dreams come true this week with Jann Mardenborough and Lucas Ordóñez announced as drivers for Nissan’s new unique P1 entry.

lucas_2_14_15GP3 race winner, Jann Mardenborough (GB) was revealed as one of the drivers at the Chicago Motor Show this week. At the same time in Yokohama, Japan, fellow GT Academy winner, Lucas Ordonez (ESP) was announced as a race driver for Nissan at Le Mans, along with NISMO racer Michael Krumm (GER).

Three years ago, 23 year-old Mardenborough was a gap year student, wondering what to do with his life. He spent his time watching his hero Lewis Hamilton racing in F1 and playing on his PlayStation. Then he entered Nissan GT Academy and his life changed forever when he landed his dream job.

Fast-forward to 2015 and Jann has become a race winner in F1 feeder series, GP3, competing against the best single-seater talent in the world. His performance at last year’s Le Mans 24 Hours made the establishment sit up and take notice of the young man from Cardiff, UK, who has made the transition from gamer to racer, blowing apart the traditional route into racing. In 2015 Jann will compete in the full FIA World Endurance Championship with Nissan.

Mardenborough gets his competitive DNA from his father, Steve, an ex-professional footballer. He doesn’t like losing and it is this competitive spirit that has seen him get to the top of the sports car ladder with Nissan.

“I want to show that there is a different route to the top of motorsport, than just years and years of expensive go karting, by winning at Le Mans,” said Mardenborough.

“It’s an honor for me to be chosen to compete in LM P1 for Nissan. I have raced at Le Mans twice in LM P2 so I have seen the current LM P1 cars at very close quarters out on the track. To think I will be racing one this year is very exciting. The Nissan GT-R LM NISMO looks set to be an historic race car and I get to drive it!”

Lucas Ordonez is the first-ever winner of GT Academy, the pioneer of Nissan’s virtual-to-reality story. He was the first GT Academy winner to race at Le Mans, capturing the headlines when he finished the great race on the podium. It is fitting therefore that Lucas should race the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO at Le Mans.

The Spaniard will join fellow Nissan Super GT racer, Tsugio Matsuda, in the third GT-R that will join the fight at Le Mans in June. Before he gets to Le Mans though Nissan has given him a new challenge. After completing his debut season in the Japanese Super GT GT300 Championship, Nissan is demonstrating the faith it has in Ordonez by placing him into the top category of Super GT where he will race the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500.

“When I received the call telling me I would race the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO and the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 it was like winning GT Academy all over again,” said Ordonez.

michael_2_14_15“Last year was incredible, racing in Japan and learning all about the unique racing culture over there. Now I get to race in the top class in Japan and at Le Mans I will jump into the ultimate GT-R! I know it sounds like a cliché but GT Academy really does turn dreams into reality, giving people a real chance to get their dream job, just like I did. For sure you have to work hard but when you do the rewards are there. I have never been so excited about the start of a new season.”

Joining Mardenborough and Ordonez in Nissan’s LM P1 line-up is NISMO regular Michael Krumm, who was the first man to drive the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO. Well-known for his car development capabilities Krumm brings a great deal of experience to the team.

Mardenorough, Ordóñez and Krumm were actually teammates at Le Mans in 2013 in LM P2.


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