Nissan will field five graduates of its successful GT Academy scheme in this year’s FIA GT Series and Blancpain Endurance Series.
The 2012 winner of the European competition, Wolfgang Reip, will be joined by Russian counterpart Mark Shulzhitskiy in the first of two GT3-spec GT-R models run by ‘Nissan GT Academy Team RJN’ in the FIA GT Series.
The first ever GT Academy winner Lucas Ordonez will share the sister car with Alex Buncombe, a regular alongside the former gamers in recent years. Both cars will entered in the Pro-Am class.
For the Blancpain Endurance Series, including the marquee Spa 24 Hours, Reip and Shulzhitskiy will be joined by German GT Academy winner Peter Pyzera to form a trio of gamers in one car. US winner Steve Doherty will team up with Ordonez and Buncombe.
“GT Academy continues to push the boundaries,” said Nissan’s Director of Global Motorsport Darren Cox. “Such is the confidence we have in the skill of the drivers we have discovered through GT Academy we have committed to an all-gamer line-up racing in the full FIA GT and Blancpain series.
“It will be great to see the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 cars racing at many of the world’s best circuits in premier European GT Championships, alongside all the other top marques. With the coming of the GT-R Nismo road car, Nismo will create the ultimate GT-R for the road, and what better place to develop technology than on the race track. These are exciting times for us.”
Meanwhile, 2011 GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut in June in a Nissan-powered, Greaves Motorsport-run LMP2 car. He will partner Ordonez and one other, to be announced driver.
The Welshman is also embarking on a season in the FIA F3 European Championship with Carlin, beginning his pre-season testing programme at Barcelona today.
It was Mardenborough’s performances in British GT in 2012 that led to Nissan and their GT Academy aces being blocked from entering the championship for the coming season.
2010 GT Academy winner Jordan Tresson has been left out of the roster of ‘Nismo Athletes’ after making his Le Mans debut last year.