Next week’s Dubai 24 Hour is shaping up to be an entertaining time, especially for Nissan fanatics. Among the many stars scheduled to appear this weekend are the latest grads from the Playstation/GT Academy, along with the newest Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3.
That GT3 car isn’t all that new — it did, after all, debut this past summer — but the Dubai race may be its first attempt at conquering a lengthy endurance race. The Nismo-crafted GT3 will be piloted by a team of championship drivers including Michael Krumm, Tom- Kimber-Smith, Franck Mailleux, and Alex Buncombe.
“2011 was a great year for Nissan and I am very much looking forward to racing the new GT3 car in Dubai,” commented Krumm, who won the 2011 FIA GT1 World Driver’s Championship. “The Nissan GT-R took us all the way to the top in 2011 so I hope we can have a good race with the new car. It’s great to celebrate a successful 2011 for Nissan and I’m excited to see how the GT Academy guys get on in the ‘All-Gamer’ car.”
Speaking of which, those recent graduates of the Gran Turismo video game challenge will pilot a 370Z. Since winning the GT Academy last summer, Jann Mardenborough and Bryan Heikotter have been training and preparing for the big race in Dubai. They will be joined with previous winners Lucas Ordonez and Jordan Tresson. Together, the four make up the “All-Gamer” car.
“It’s a good feeling for me to go back to Dubai as this is where it all really started for me, just three years ago,” said Ordonez. “I know that Jann (Mardenborough) and Bryan (Heitkotter) will be very nervous but also very excited to take their GT Academy prize and compete in this race. I also know what an intensive development programme they have been on so they are more than ready for the challenges ahead of them. I hope that, along with Jordan (Tresson), I can help them to a good result.
Finally, another 370Z will be piloted by a team from RJN Motorsport. Also making an appearance will be the automaker’s latest wild and controversial project, the Nissan Juke-R. The 480-hp, GT-R-powered Juke-R won’t be racing, but it will serve as the pace car.