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2014 Le Mans 24: Nissan's #eatsleepRACErepeat Picks Up The Pace In The Build Up To Le Mans
Posted by: newsla on Jun 02, 2014 - 06:11 AM
Le Mans News
2014 Le Mans 24: Nissan's #eatsleepRACErepeat Picks Up The Pace In The Build Up To Le Mans

Nissan turned up the volume on the summer of #eatsleepRACErepeat this weekend with events taking place at Le Mans, Silverstone, the USA and Japan.


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The first race results of the weekend came from Japan with a fantastic 1-2-3 finish in the Super GT race at Autopolis. Nissan’s new GT500 GT-R dominated the race and fought hard for the full podium lock-out result.

Nissan was fastest in the LM P2 class at the Le Mans test day at Circuit de la Sarthe, gave the revolutionary Nissan ZEOD RC electric prototype its Le Mans debut and recorded strong results in both the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in Detroit in the US and the British GT Championship at Silverstone with Olympic cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy at the wheel.


The Nissan ZEOD RC completed its first 24 laps of Circuit de la Sarthe with GT Academy winner Wolfgang Reip and two-time Le Mans P2 winner Tommy Erdos at the wheel.

While the car was delayed with two small technical issues – a broken fuel pump issue and a broken exhaust – today’s test was an important step in the development of the car that aims to complete an entire lap of Le Mans on pure electric power.

“Today has been a very important step in the development of the car and what we have achieved is actually quite remarkable,” said NISMO’s Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales, Darren Cox. “We knew we were tackling a huge challenge with the goal of building a car that could complete an entire 8.5 mile lap of Le Mans on nothing but electric power. We have certainly discovered why nobody has tackled it previously.

“We completed large sections of the circuit today on EV power and learned a great deal,” Cox continued. “Today was about testing the systems and ensuring the transition from electric to internal combustion power was seamless. Testing at other venues is extremely valuable but there is no substitute to running here at Le Mans. We ran with the test car today and we’ll continue to test with the actual race car all week back in the UK before heading back for the race.

“I’m very proud of everyone associated with the programme because of the amount of work that has gone in. Today was very rewarding. Our guys already feel like they have raced the 24 hours already – they did two all-nighters last week. The level of commitment to showcase what this programme is capable of is truly remarkable.”

The Nissan ZEOD RC team will continue testing in the UK this week with the actual race car, which will replace the test machine that was used today. Super GT regulars Satoshi Motoyama and Lucas Ordóñez will return from Japan to join Reip at the wheel for the race.


Russian GT Academy winner Mark Shulzhitskiy joined fellow winner Wolfgang Reip in qualifying for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours by completing his mandatory 10 rookie laps during today’s test day.

Remarkably, four previous winners of the gamer-to-racer competition will contest this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.Shulzhitskiy will race alongside fellow GT Academy alumni and last year’s rookie stand-out Jann Mardenborough for OAK Racing, with Alex Brundle. Reip will joined the inaugural winner of the GT Academy competition, Lucas Ordóñez aboard the Nissan ZEOD RC with Satoshi Motoyama.

Nissan today filled 10 of the top 11 spots on the LM P2 timesheets with Roman Rusinov recording the fastest time at 3 minutes, 37.795 seconds. The Shulzhitskiy/Mardenborough/Brundle Oak Racing entry was fourth fastest in LM P2.


Sir Chris Hoy and Alex Buncombe raced the No.80 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 to a strong seventh place in today’s three-hour British GT race at Silverstone. This is the best result of the season so far for the British duo.

The race started brilliantly when Chris made a great move that took him from 11th on the grid to seventh place almost immediately. Soon after the race he admitted that he had taken advice just before the start.

“When I was sitting on the grid Bob (Neville – Team boss) told me to take it easy, have a safe stint and keep the car in one piece,” explained Chris. “Then Alex leant in and told me to stay on the inside, go for the gap and commit to the corner. It was like having an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. The devil won, I went for it and it paid off!”

The start turned out to be the most exciting part of the race for Chris as, during his next stint, he was practically all alone on the track. It was a similar outlook for Alex too, until he got stuck into the action during the closing stages.

“The car felt great during my last run,” said Alex. “The tyres didn’t go off like they did on the first stint so I could really push. The guys radioed to tell me I was catching the two cars ahead with 15 minutes of the race to go. I was reeling them in but then came across a slower car on the last lap, which messed up my attack a little. Amazingly, after three hours of racing, all three of us crossed the line very close together. If the race had been three hours and 10 minutes it would have been a very different story!”

Chris and Alex will be back on track in the GT3 GT-R in just three weeks’ time for the British GT double-header at Snetterton on 21-22 June. By then Nissan will have competed at Le Mans and already moved on to the Nurburgring 24 Hours.





“This was a great #eatsleepRACErepeat weekend for Nissan,” concluded Darren Cox. “A 1-2-3 in Super GT in Japan, three of our four GT Academy winners running very well here at Le Mans today, Nissan dominating P2 again and very strong results in British GT and the TUDOR Championship.”

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