Ordonez to race in the Land of the Rising Sun

by Joe Hudson

Lucas Ordonez, the very first GT Academy winner, has announced a programme of racing in the Japanese Super GT series for 2014.

The Spaniard has seen this opportunity come to him thanks to an absolutely storming few years which has seen him go from video gamer to 24 Hours of Le Mans podium finisher, twice.

28-year-old Ordonez will now race alongside Kazuki Hoshino in the NDDP Nismo GT-R GT3 in the GT300 class as well as driving the revolutionary ZEOD RC at the 2014 Le Mans race.

“To race in Japanese Super GT has been one of my goals since I started my racing career,” said Ordonez. “It’s a fully professional championship with official works teams competing so I will have a great chance to fight at the highest level and prove to everyone why I got this seat. The GT300 class will be very tough but we will push 100% to win the championship.”

This opportunity comes about thanks to the Nissan Global Exchange programme expanding to full seasons rather than just one off entries. With Ordonez coming to Japan, Japanese racer Katsumasa Chiyo will move to Europe and join up with the GT Academy RJN team in the Blancpain Endurance Series.

Nissan’s Global Motorsport Director, Darren Cox, was ecstatic about the expanded Exchange: “It’s a proud moment for me to see Lucas, our first GT Academy winner, make the grade and head off to Japan to race in Super GT.

“To have a GT Academy winner race at the home of Gran Turismo in Japan is a fantastic achievement and, as Lucas found when he raced in Japan last year, the local fans love his story. He is a great example of what GT Academy is all about: take raw talent, nurture it, challenge it and watch it shine. I am also very pleased at the success on track and the response from the fans for our innovative Nismo Exchange programme. So far we have had 12 nationalities take part in races on four continents. The expansion to full year exchanges underlines the way the idea has caught on and is only one of many plans we have in 2014 and beyond to continue to globalise our motorsport activities.”

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