NISSAN heads “home” this weekend to the Nurburgring – the scene of the manufacturer’s volume production lap record and the track where the GT-R is developed.
With an all-star international team of drivers competing in Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s, this is Nissan’s biggest assault on the Nurburgring 24 Hours in recent times.
Nick Heidfeld, Florian Strauss, Lucas Ordonez and Alex Buncombe will race the No.80 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, which celebrates Nissan’s 80th birthday.
German ex-F1 racer Heidfeld has competed at the Nordschleife before so he is fully aware of the challenges presented by the track known as the “Green Hell”.
He said: “The Nordschleife is one of the most difficult circuits to learn. I did this race two years ago and I thought I could come back this year and pick up where I left off. That is not the case with the Nordschleife! It is so long and has so many corners and blind spots.”
Racing fans will no doubt know that as head judge for GT Academy Germany, Heidfeld saw Strauss win that competition last year. “It is impressive that GT Academy unearths real racing talent,” said Heidfeld. “I’m sure that in years to come it will be regarded as a normal route into the sport but it is amazing to come up with an idea like that and actually pull it off!
“What I love about it is that it gives a chance to people that can’t afford to come into the sport via the traditional route of karting, for which the costs have become increasingly unsustainable.”
Michael Krumm, Kazuki Hoshino, Katsumasa Chiyo and Tetsuya Tanaka will share the No.30 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, numbered 30 in honour of NISMO’s 30th year.
The man behind the wheel of the new Nissan GT-R NISMO road car (with track options) when it completed a lap of the Nordschleife in just 7 minutes 8.679 seconds was Krumm, who said: “To have the chance to compete in the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 race car against the best GT cars in the world at the Nurburgring is a great opportunity for us to show how strong the Nissan GT-R is.
“It is the toughest endurance race in the world, against the toughest competition. I am very excited to be part of the team and look forward to this big challenge.”
The 2014 Nurburgring 24 Hours will start on Saturday at 3pm BST (4pm CET).
Meanwhile, Wolfgang Reip will get back behind the wheel of the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 this coming Sunday to compete alongside Sir Chris Hoy in the British GT Championship at Snetterton. It comes ahead of Reip travelling to Japan for the Super GT Test at Suzuka on 27th and 28th June, before joining Ordonez and Hoshino in the #3 B-MAX NDDP GT-R in the 1000km race at Suzuka at the end of August.
“It is good timing for me to compete in British GT this weekend,” said Reip. “I know the GT3 GT-R very well after doing two championships in it last year but I hadn’t actually driven it for seven months before this weekend. Snetterton will be a very useful refresher for me.”
Qualifying gets under way on Saturday at 4.40pm BST, with the two races taking place on Sunday at 11.40am BST and 4.25pm BST.