Nissan’s GT Academy has produced some remarkable talents; bright sparks that they are confident can compete with the best in motorsport. Its virtual-to-reality approach to discovering and honing driver talent is the first of its kind and Nissan is bringing in two of its most successful graduates to their 2015 LM P1 line-up.
In 2012, Jann Mardenborough was a student in Cardiff on his gap year when he entered the Nissan GT Academy and through the resulting 3 years of his racing career, has won a podium finish at Le Mans in the LM P2 series and is a race winner in GP3, a series known for launching its drivers on an F1 career.
Lucas Ordonez, Nissan GT Academy’s first winner that impressed everyone with his podium result at Le Mans, is also joining the ranks that make up Nissan’s 2015 LM P1 line-up with fellow Super GT racer Tsugio Matsuda. Prior to that, Ordonez will compete in Super GT’s top league GT500 where he will be piloting the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500.
Topping off the already formidable driver line-up Nissan’s 2015 LM P1 campaign is NISMO veteran Michael Krumm. Being the first man to drive the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO, he is known for his skill in car development and for his ability to flesh out its full potential. Nissan is confident that its squad of nine drivers straddles the perfect mix of youth and experience as it enters its most challenging motorsport clash of 2015.
"Jann and Lucas have proved their merit as professional racing drivers time and time again, not least with their Le Mans podium finishes," said Darren Cox, Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales, NISMO. "What looks like an overnight success is years of incredibly hard work by Jann, Lucas and the Nissan NISMO team that develop all of the winners of Nissan GT Academy. These guys are proof that if you want something badly enough and are prepared to give it everything you've got, you will succeed. We have the same ethos with our LM P1 program. Drivers like Krumm add that extra layer of experience that is vital in a program like this. We are here to compete at the highest level, and we are not here to make up the numbers. It's no accident that people like Mark Webber are racing at Le Mans. This is where you will find the most competitive racing in the world. It is a tough battlefield, but we can't wait to join the fight."