NISMO NEWS - March 19, 2018
- Nissan and ESM win 12 Hours of Sebring
- GT Sport Motul Team RJN completes pre-season test
- Nissan Motorsport set for Melbourne F1 points battle
Nissan and ESM claim 12 hours of Sebring victory
Starting the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race in fourth position, the trio survived the grueling 12-hour enduro, withstanding the bumps and racing into the night, finishing more than 12 seconds ahead of the nearest competitor.
The victory follows ESM's IMSA race victories last season at Road America and Road Atlanta. The No. 22 Nissan-powered machine led 158 of the 344 laps to score Nissan's first Sebring win since 1994.
Nissan took its first Sebring win in 1989 with the Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo and backed that up the following year in 1990. Nissan took its third win in a row in 1991 with the Nissan NPT-90.
The 1994 win was taken with the Nissan 300ZX.
The win capped off an up-and-down day for the team. The No. 2 car of Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel and Oliver Pla started on the front row, but retired from the race following contact on lap one, turn one of the race.
“Just wow. What a great day," said ESM team owner Scott Sharp.
"We needed this so badly. We were heartbroken after Daytona. To win a major endurance race is amazing.
"These guys just did a great job and with flawless moves. The pit stops were great, the car performed, and Nissan did a fabulous job. We needed this.”
For driver Pipo Derani, who took the car to the checkered flag, the race took on a personal meaning with the Brazilian dedicating the win to his ill father at home.
"Just unbelievable," Derani said.
"This victory goes to my dad who is watching us back in Brazil and is fighting for his health.
"I'm just so happy to be able to win and know that he's watching my race. I just have to thank the entire team for giving me this opportunity to win again and win in front of him."
The Nissan-powered ESM team will be back in action April 13-14 at the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix of Long Beach.
GT Sport Motul Team RJN's Ordóñez excited about new car Circuit Paul Ricard, France - Lucas Ordóñez won the first ever Nissan PlayStation GT Academy competition, and for 2018, he will contest the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup promoting the latest version of the game which kicked off his career.
Ten years after his GT Academy victory, Ordóñez will race this year for GT Sport Motul Team RJN – driving the newly-evolved 2018-spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.
Along with teammates Alex Buncombe and Matt Parry, Ordóñez had the chance to get his first laps behind the wheel of the new car last week at Circuit Paul Ricard.
“Once you open the door, the car is completely different. Brand new steering wheel, the cockpit, the seat position, the dashboard, it's great to see,” Ordóñez said.
“Now, we made a car that's much more comfortable for the drivers, easier to reach the buttons and the switches we use during the race. The drivers' view position has also much improved.
“The weight distribution is improved a lot, so that will help us have a lot more mechanical grip through the corners and better change of direction.
“The front end has also been improved, with more aerodynamics and the radiator was moved to help with cooling and providing more power.”
Ordóñez is not the only "gamer to racer" that will get to compete for GT Sport Motul Team RJN – Mexican Ricardo Sanchez (winner of the first international GT Academy competition) will drive with British racers Struan Moore and new-comer Jordan Witt aboard the No. 22 GT-R.
Supercars points on the line for Nissan at the Australian Grand Prix Melbourne, Vic, Australia - Nissan Motorsport will return to the Albert Park Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit this weekend knowing there is now far more at stake than prior years.
While in previous years the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship staged non-championship races at the Grand Prix, this year, for the first time, there will be points on the line.
"Rather than just being a regular support category that adds to the spectacle of the opening round of the Formula One season, we'll be racing for points," Michael Caruso said.
"It's now all business for us."
"We have four races, each with a couple of pitstops, and a full 300 points on offer - the same as we had in Adelaide two weeks ago for our curtain-raiser.
"One thing that’s important about the Australian Grand Prix for us is we’ve shown good speed here in the past, and that will play in the back of our minds.
"We’re lucky being a Melbourne-based team that we can get some extra hands to help out this weekend. And it’s also a unique thing to be able to sleep in your own bed at night, which is a rarity and a luxury at the same time."
Caruso will join fellow Nissan drivers Rick Kelly, Simona De Silvestro and Andre Heimgartner on track this weekend in Melbourne.
HIGH RES DOWNLOADS
Download images of Nissan's win at the 12 Hours of Sebring with ESM and last week's Blancpain GT Series test at Paul Ricard.
Relive the excitement of last weekend's victory by Nissan at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Albert Park F1 Circuit, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- Super GT, Okayama International Circuit, Japan
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Symmons Plains Raceway, Tasmania, Australia