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GT Academy graduate to tackle Spa 24 Hours

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Still taking his first steps towards a full time racing career 2008 Nissan GT Academy Winner Lucas Ordoñez will be part of a four man team for the Spa 24 Hours driving a GT4-spec Nissan 370Z prepared by RJN Motorsport and sponsored by Polphony Digital and Playstation.

The Spaniard, now 25, was the first winner of the GT Academy competition put together by Nissan and Playstation in an effort of find a new GT race driver from the ranks of racers on the Gran Turismo Series.

An initial prize of a drive in the Dubai 24 Hours was followed by a full season, last year, in the European GT4 Championship partnering Alex Buncumbe to second place in the driver's title and helping to secure the team's title.

The success proved a promising start to racing career with Lucas returning to the GT4 series for this season as a solo driver and as Nissan and his sponsors try to nurture him into a full career a first taste of endurance racing is the natural progression.

“Three years ago I was at home racing on the PlayStation,” grasps Ordoñez. “I'm now a racing driver thanks to PlayStation and Nissan. Alongside Dubai, this is the most important race of my life. The Spa 24 Hours has such a great history, so to be competing here for the Nissan PlayStation team will be amazing.”

Alongside Ordo̱ez will be three respected professional drivers. His 2009 teammate Alex Bumcombe returns to his side with his brother Chris Рa former Le Mans 24 Hours class winner who drove for Aston Martin at this year's event Рjoining the team. Rob Barff, an experienced GT driver who acted as driving instructor for the GT Academy program, will complete the team.

“Lucas has the perfect platform this weekend to show the GT world that he is a real race driver that just happens to have started by driving on the Gran Turismo game,” explains Nissan's European head of sports cars Darren Cox. “With the GT1 World Championship sharing the billing with the '24 Hours' there will be plenty of well-connected spectators looking at his progress. From Nissan's point of view, we want to see how fast Lucas can go whilst driving 'slowly'. In other words, can he maintain his undoubted pace whilst looking after his car for 24 hours? He has three great team mates who will help him and be a great measure for him.”

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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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