Nissan Takes On Petit Le Mans By: Nissan
After last weekend's round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Fuji in Japan, Nissan's attention turns to America this week, specifically to the glorious Road Atlanta road course in Georgia that hosts the 1000 mile/10 hour 'Petit Le Mans'. This is one of the blue riband events of the American sportscar scene and a fitting event for the eagerly anticipated return of a very special racing car.
Nissan DeltaWing will make its return to racing in the country it was created after making a headline-grabbing debut at this summer's Le Mans 24 Hours. The car was made in America but the effort is truly international, from the English Ben Bowlby to the Japanese engine, the 'All American' Dan Gurney to the European fans who took the car to their hearts at Le Mans. Nissan's first GT Academy graduate Lucas Ordonez will bring some Spanish style to the driving squad and Gunnar Jeannette will provide some good American knowledge of one of the country's best race tracks.
In addition to being the final round of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), Petit Le Mans replaces the final two rounds of the European Le Mans Series so many of Nissan's LMP2 runners will take on the demands of Road Atlanta in the LMP2 class, not least Greaves Motorsport. With Lucas Ordonez behind the wheel of Nissan DeltaWing, his seat in the Greaves Zytek Nissan has been taken by Alex Buncombe who joins Alex Brundle and Tom Kimber-Smith in the car that will carry its regular No.1 in this race.
The British Greaves Motorsport team will compete against seven other LMP2 cars in Atlanta, four of which also run Nissan engines. The Conquest Endurance team will be the first US team to compete head to head with the European 'Powered by Nissan' teams, all of whom will be putting in maximum effort as they will be awarded double European Le Mans Series points for this race.
'Petit Le Mans is a unique opportunity for us to demonstrate the international flavour of Nissan Motorsport,' said Nissan's Darren Cox. 'Our racing activities are growing exponentially with GT Academy competitions in Europe, USA, Russia, the Middle East and now South Africa. We are powering most of the LMP2 runners in the FIA World Endurance Championship and powered a quarter of the entire grid at Le Mans. We're delighted that the US fans will finally get a chance to see Nissan DeltaWing race after it was so well received in Europe. It is a project that has captured the imaginations of so many and it is good to hear that the car will race on in the ALMS next year. This is a very interesting chapter in the story of Nissan in motorsport.'
Petit Le Mans gets underway this Saturday at 11:30 local time (-6hrs CET) with qualifying taking place from 14:00 on Friday.