Mark Shulzhitskiy has been confirmed to drive the rest of the 2014 European Le Mans Series for Greaves Motorsport, with the Russian also getting a seat in the #35 Nissan GT-R NISMO at next month’s Spa 24 Hours.
Shulzhitskiy, who won the 2012 Russian Edition of GT Academy, will drive alongside 2012 FIA Formula Two champion Luciano Bacheta in Greaves’ Zytek Z11SN, with the duo running in the last three races of the series at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, Paul Ricard in France and Estoril in Portugal.
“Racing a P2 car is a big opportunity for me,” said the 24-year-old. “My recent experience at Le Mans was very special. Le Mans is such a fast, dangerous and unpredictable race. Coupled with that I was in a very fast car, with very fast team mates and a top team so the pressure was on for me. I learnt a lot and just that one race has made me a lot stronger.
“I was very happy to get the chance to continue my P2 education with Greaves. Jacob (Greaves) has built a very strong and friendly team and it is a great place for me to return to improve my skills. I’m looking forward to seeing the boys and getting down to work.”
“I was surprised that people were surprised by Jann Mardenborough’s pace at Le Mans last month,” said Darren Cox, NISMO’s Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales. “He showed incredible pace at last year’s race so we knew he would deliver this time around. Now, if everyone was paying attention at Le Mans they will have noticed Mark’s pace. I certainly noticed it and that is why he is now racing in the European Le Mans Series.”
Shulzhitskiy was also confirmed today to drive the #35 Nissan at the upcoming Spa 24 Hours, replacing fellow Russian Stanislav Aksenov, with two-time Super GT GT500 Champion Masataka Yanagida, Katsumasa Chiyo and Miguel Faisca joining him in the car.
Nissan also announced that the #80 Nissan has an unchanged line up, with regular trio Alex Buncombe, Florian Strauss and Nick McMillen being joined by another GT Academy winner, Wolfgang Reip.
“We like to shake up our driver line-ups every now and again,” said Cox. “I’ve said it before that winning GT Academy doesn’t guarantee anyone a race seat for life. We expect maximum effort and top performances from our guys and recently Mark and Wolfie have shone.”