Lucas Ordóñez and his fellow Nissan ZEOD RC drivers have enjoyed ‘an interesting test’ in the 2014 Le Mans Garage 56 entry in the South of France.
The team ,which tested at Paul Ricard last week, had a main objective of learning about the car and when and where to press certain buttons during a stint, at the end of which the cars 1.5 liter, three-cylinder, 400 horsepower, 40 kilogram turbocharged engine goes into its Zero Emissions On Demand mode for one lap.
“There are so many things that are different about this car,” Ordóñez said. “Even the seating position is very different. Normally in a prototype the underside of the cockpit is raised to promote airflow under and through the front of the car, but for the ZEOD your feet are more level with the floor. You are still reclined like a regular prototype, but your feet position is more like a GT car.
“There are also a lot of systems and procedures that the drivers have to learn. It was interesting to learn more last week not only what switches to change and when, but also exactly what they do.”
With a clashing Super GT round in Japan stopping Ordóñez and one of his co-drivers, Satoshi Motoyama, attending the Le Mans test day, the duo are trying to get as many miles as possible under their belts before pairing with Wolfgang Reip for the 24 Hours.
“This is not like just buying a P2 car and going racing. There is no past data to fall back on, no past experience – everything about this program is a new learning experience for the drivers, the mechanics, the engineers and the design team,” Ordóñez continued.
“It is actually really rewarding to be a part of the program and I can’t wait to silently glide down the Mulsanne – that is going to be quite an experience.”