Features

Jann Mardenborough, Lucas Ordonez will drive Nissan GT-R Nismo LM at Le Mans

Two of GT Academy's most successful graduates will compete in Nissan's new LMP1 car

Nismo has added two of its most successful videogamers-turned-racers to its LMP1 team for 2015, Lucas Ordonez and Jann Mardenborough.

Both winners of Nissan and Sony’s Gran Turismo Academy competition, each has already built a strong roster of racing success and each has proven themselves a natural choice for high-level competition.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

Ordonez became the GT Academy’s first victor in 2008, beating millions of other gamers on the Playstation and fending off the final dozen where it really counted in the Academy final at Silverstone.

>Read - 2015 Nissan GT-R LM Nismo official, front-wheel drive Le Mans hopes unveiled

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

He has since driven several times at Le Mans, achieving a class podium at his first attempt and since becoming Nissan’s official Super GT driver – first in the GT300 class and this year in GT500.

Mardenborough, 23, won GT Academy in 2011. Since then he has already competed twice at Le Mans in the LMP2 class, took a victory in last year’s GP3 series and this year moves up to LMP1 with the Michelin-shod front-wheel drive Nissan GT-R LM Nismo.

Ordonez’s GT500 commitments means he will only contest Le Mans in the car, but Mardenborough will race the full season – alongside drivers such as Marc Gené, Harry Tincknell, Olivier Pla and Michael Krumm.

Tsugio Matsuda, another experienced racer, will join Ordonez and another as-yet unannounced driver in Nismo’s third Le Mans entry.

While critics initially dismissed the benefits of videogames as driver training tools, the increasing realism of some titles and the success of several GT Academy graduates have finally proven their worth.

Last weekend, two other GT Academy graduates, Florian Strauss and Wolfgang Reip, joined professional racer Katsumasa Chiyo to win the Bathurst 12 Hours in a Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/peugeot/201948/peugeot-to-launch-le-mans-hypercar-for-2022-wec-season
Peugeot

Peugeot to launch Le Mans hypercar for 2022 WEC season

13 Nov 2019
Visit/porsche/911/201865/porsche-919-hybrid-review-driving-one-of-stuttgarts-most-successful-racers
Porsche 911

Porsche 919 Hybrid review - driving one of Stuttgart's most successful racers

18 Oct 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/auctions/202147/ps6million-lancia-collection-of-dreams-to-go-under-the-hammer
auctions

£6million Lancia collection of dreams to go under the hammer

World Rally-winning Group A Integrale stars in world’s best collection of racing Lancias
24 Jan 2020
Visit/seat/leon-cupra/202143/seat-leon-cupra-r-st-abt-review-spicy-spanish-dish-gets-even-more-sizzle
SEAT Leon Cupra

SEAT Leon Cupra R ST Abt review

50 horsepower boost puts extra pep in the Leon Cupra’s already athletic step
23 Jan 2020
Visit/dodge/202135/police-spec-dodge-charger-given-1500bhp-widebody-kit-and-awd
Dodge

Dodge Charger given 1500bhp, widebody kit and AWD 

US-based Speedkore Performance works its magic for one-off creation
22 Jan 2020
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019