My blog: June & July and Sugo Super GT

My season is non-stop action this year! After a solid result at the Autopolis Super GT round, I switched my focus to the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Nurburgring 24 Hours. As it turned out they were not the best races for us. An early retirement at Le Mans was tempered with the satisfaction of completing a full electric lap at La Sarthe and to drive at over 300 km/h using only electric power.

Nurburgring was very disappointing for me as I caught a nasty virus at the start of the race meeting. I had a great time in free practice and put in some strong laps in the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 but soon after that I was sent to bed, under doctors orders! It was very frustrating for me and my team mates had some extra driving to do but they did a great job.

My illness meant that I also missed the official test at Suzuka.

 

A week of rest did the trick though and I was soon firing on all cylinders again.

 

I did another lap of the earth after that, flying from Spain to Mexico then later back to Japan. On the way to Mexico I had the opportunity to go into the cockpit for the landing and that was amazing. There are so many buttons they have to press, far more than on a racing car!

I was in Mexico for the National Finals of GT Academy. This is the first year of the competition in Mexico so it was good to go there as an ambassador and give the finalists lots of tips on how to win GT Academy.  After two full days of PlayStation racing, fitness, media and driving tests, only six lucky Mexicans will go to Silverstone for the final stages – we call it Race Camp – in August.


I returned to Japan via Dallas and due to a delay I had to run what felt like the Dallas Marathon through the airport to get my connection. They must have wondered who this mad Spaniard was, jumping the queue for immigration!  I made it to Tokyo, despite being parted from my luggage for a while!

 

The next day was Friday and it was time to meet Kazuki to catch the Shinkansen train to the Sugo track. After a quick pit stop for Sendai-style Ramen we headed to the track.

Once there we did the traditional signing-on with our licenses, and said hello to the many fans who were already waiting for us, despite it being a very wet day!

 

It was the first time for me at Sugo so off we went to do a track walk. We then spent time looking over previous year’s data, onboards camera footage and some sim training. The track looked so cool with it’s ups and downs, close walls, fast corners, especially the last one – talk about a corner for the brave: very fast, blind, huge uphill and with the wall next to you.

After the day at the circuit, Kazuki took me to a special restaurant in Sendai. The famous food is the Gyu-Tan which is delicious. It sounds better in Japanese though as in English it means ‘cow tongue’. Yes, it really sounds bad but I have a rule to always try any kind of food, except in China!

 

The race weekend started really well for B-Max NISMO GT-R Team. Kazuki went on track for a few runs in the wet and found a good car balance. Then I took the wheel and after a few laps to learn the track I set the third fastest time of the practice, right behind the JAF GT cars. We had positive feelings for qualifying, which unfortunately had to be postponed to Sunday due to dense fog on the track. I want to say thank you and sorry to all the fans who attended on such a very bad weather day.

Sunday was a busy day with the qualifying session, and we struggled in very wet conditions as Kazuki didn’t have enough heat in the front tires, just like all the Yokohama cars.

 

After a great fans autograph session and NISMO sponsor speech (in Japanese!) I was ready for what was going to be one of the toughest races in my career.

 

I took the start of the race in P13 and pitted to change from slicks to intermediate tires but after five laps the track completely dried out so we pitted again for slicks. At that moment we were P22 but after a great recovery, learning the track in dry conditions during the race and after a great last stint of Kazuki, we managed to score some points and finish P9 with all the championship contenders behind us, except one BMW.  It could have been, as racing drivers say, a sure podium finish but is to say that in hindsight it was the wrong choice to pit for intermediate tires but this is why motorsport is so hard. There are so many decisions to make every second.

 

Now we are sitting in sixth place in the championship but only a few points behind third position and not much behind the leaders.  Fuji on August 10th has to be the one. That’s where I set my first Super GT pole position so let’s work hard next week in Japan with some testing and be ready to win!

 

Lucas

Exciting season in Super GT 2014

Hi all! Long time since Last time active here in my website.

As the season is about to start I would like to say a few words about today

I landed in Tokyo from Silverstone.
Went pretty much straight from the airport to the Nissan HQ’s in Yokohama.

Already at 10am many fans were waiting at the doors of the building to enter in “pole position” for the Launch of Nissan Motorsport plans in 2014.

We spend all day looking after the fans as we had some photo shoots, media talk and autograph sessions. It really impressed me how many fans attended to the launch, from here I wanna say THANK YOU!

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I will compete with Nismo BMax Racing Team #3, my team mate is Kazuki Hoshino, who I share the car in the latest Suzuka 1000km

I hope we have a good pre-season during the next weeks and have a good start in Okayama 6th April Round 1

See you at the race track!

Champions!

CHAMPIONS! NISSAN DOES THE DOUBLE AT THE NURBURGRING

Nissan’s gamers win Pro-Am Teams Championship in Blancpain Endurance Series
Lucas Ordonez wins Pro-Am Driver’s Championship
First title for the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3

Nissan GT Academy Team RJN has won the Pro-Am Teams Championship in one of the world’s most closely contested GT3 competitions, the Blancpain Endurance Series. Lucas Ordonez has also been crowned as Pro-Am Driver’s Champion after a challenging time in today’s season finale, the Nurburgring 1000kms.

The Nissan vs. Ferrari battle never really began as the challenge from Ferrari fell away in the early stages of the race. Competing with two Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3s the Nissan team has raced across Europe – from Monza to Silverstone, to Ricard and Spa and finally the Nurburgring – taking victories and podium finishes along the way. The 2013 driving squad has included GT Academy winners Lucas Ordonez, Jann Mardenborough, Wolfgang Reip, Mark Shulzhitskiy, Peter Pyzera, Steve Doherty and also Alex Buncombe.

As the first ever winner of GT Academy, Lucas Ordonez already has some incredible career highlights, including two Le Mans podiums in 2011 and 2013.  This is his first driver’s title and after a season that held a win at Silverstone, a podium at the Dubai 24 Hours and a hard fought podium at the Spa 24 Hours, the speedy Spaniard is on top of the world.

“This has been a tough day but despite the dramas we have come out on top,” said Lucas. “I’m so happy for Nissan, for GT Academy and for RJN Motorsport.  It was a hard race and I really feel for Alex (Buncombe) as he did everything right today. Together we have made another big step and I look forward to continuing this adventure with Nissan.  I’m so excited for everyone!”

Alex Buncombe takes fourth place in the driver’s championship and Peter Pyzera takes third.  After some entertaining battles in the early stages of the race, which saw Al move up to eighth place overall, he beat a tactical retreat to remove himself from the Pro Cup race. With a championship at stake the focus had to stay on the other Pro-Am runners.  His fight ended though when the No.32 Nissan GT-R had to pit for a brake change. Despite running for over 12 hours at Spa on one set of brakes the Nurburgring turned out to be a brake-destroyer for many of the Blancpain teams.

“This is a very real achievement for our gamer-turned-racers,” said Darren Cox, Nissan’s Director of Global Motorsport. “The Blancpain Endurance Series is the toughest GT3 championship so to take the Pro-Am titles with gamers is testament to the work of not just the drivers, but the wider Nissan ‘family’.  I feel very proud of each and every one of them.”

The Nurburgring 1000kms also provided Kazuki Hoshino’s first run in the Blancpain Endurance Series.  Driving for JRM Racing as part of the Nismo Global Driver Exchange the Super GT star took fifth place overall in today’s race with his team-mates Peter Dumbreck and Steven Kane.

#judgementday Nurburgring Blancpain Endurance Series final

Here is the teaser of this weekend’s Nurburgring Blancpain Endurance Series final!

I’m leading in Pro-am, with my team mate Peter Pyzera 4 points behind and Alex Buncombe in 3rd -10 points in the #32 Nissan GT ACADEMY.

In the Teams standings, we (Nissan GT Academy Team RJN) are leading just by 1 point to Ferrari, so it will be a tight fight!

Hope you can support us with live coverage on nismo.tv and via my twitter account @lucas_ordonez