GT Academy Winner Scores First Race Win

August 28th, 2009 by Jordan

Despite spending the majority of his driving career in front of Gran Turismo, GT Academy winner Lucas Ordonez and teammate Alex Buncombe scored their first race victory at the Zolder circuit in Belgium last week, behind the wheel of the RJN Motorsport Nissan 350Z.

zolder-winnerThis is a huge step for the team (they’re running second GT4 European Cup championship) and a major landmark in Lucas’ career.  It’s also a very proud moment for sim racers everywhere – whether your game of choice is GT, Forza Motorsport, or something on the PC, we all have Lucas to thank for “legitimizing” our hobby.  Here’s what RJN team boss Bob Neville had to say about the latest victory to gadget website T3:

“Whatever happens now in the rest of the season Lucas has proved a big point. His first season of GT racing has delivered a win in an international race series again top line drivers, in top line cars.  […] The main focus is maintaining our second place in the [rest of the] Championship. That would really show everyone that a Playstation gamer can go from bedroom to championship contender in one year.”

GTPlanet user DustDriver was on hand at the event – check out his gallery of photos and videos here.  Congratulations, Lucas, and good luck in Portugal next month!

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  1. oppylocky

    I am very happy for lucas but it wasn’t all video gaming that got him through, sure it started him off but there was a lot of other tests that he had to do such as a physical, mental and psychological aspect to the win. At the end of the day, were it not for Gran Turismo, then Nissan would not have found this kind of talent.

  2. Lucas Ordonez

    Round 5 GT4 Zolder (Full version Film)


  3. Congrats Lucas
    *three thumbs up*! YES THREE!

  4. I saw aprts of the GT4 race this morning. They did very well. I believe they are third in overall score of the GT4 series now?

  5. Canadian STIG

    Well said meatbag

  6. meatbag_

    @ Mark:

    this IS about GT5, its interesting because when your mom yells down into the basement you live in that you need to stop playing games and do something productive with your life, you can come out of your basement and show her that a guy took his gaming skills and applied them in real life.

  7. Please give some info about GT5…this is not interesting..

  8. Stradivis

    NASA uses simulation to perfect their pilots. Airforce uses it too. Even F1 teams use it. So I guess it’s logic that simulation shall become an entry door for many pilots out there in the years to come. It’s cheap, safe and can cover lots of things needed for a pilot’s formation.

    This is a great historic mark for racing in general.


  9. Tek9[R]

    Great job! Is this the start of a Gran Turismo “revolution” in the motorsports world? I hope so. Good luck next race!

  10. Aristedis


    thanks …..

  11. DustDriver

    A team can choose to enter 1 or 2 drivers for a car.

  12. ralph89

    Congratulation Lucas, hope you guys win next round. GT Academy RULES! I guess.

  13. Aristedis

    yes i don’t know good English…..i ask if only the nissan team has 2 drivers for the race….i see the podium ….2 drivers for nissan….1 driver for the 2 and 1 for the 3 place….anyone can answer me?

  14. Aristedis is asking if nissan is the only team to have 2 drivers because of the pic of the podium shot where there both on top and the 2nd an 3rd place winners only have 1 driver standing there

  15. @MarcoM: It’s the same person asking the 2 drivers question over and over. I have the feeling it’s a language barrier problem making it difficult to understand his question.

  16. Lucas, congratulations! He’s showed what hard work and dedication can do. And he’s so modest, he’s happy for Nissan and Playstation at the end of the video, not himself. What a great guy, I hope we can see him moving up in the racing world. If this winning trend continues, it certainly seems possible.

  17. Bakemono858

    Congrats Lucas! Make the Gran Turismo community and K.Y. Proud!

  18. Damn I would have liked to go there. But I couldn’t. Great you have won at Zolder.

    Off topic: what is it with these questions of Nissan having only 2 drivers. RJN has a 350z running the European GT4 championship. One mandatory pitstop results in 2 drivers per car. Or am I missing something?

  19. Actually now that I think about it… that’s more than impressive… that’s like a dream come true!

  20. MJRTOM, my bad… I didn’t realize thats what this was about… I thought GT acadamey was just a driving school and this was relative only because of the car he drove… so this guy learned playing GT and took that learning to the course resulting in a win? That is impressive… and interesting…

  21. Aristedis

    well only nissan have 2 drivers?

  22. DustDriver

    Thanks for the autograph Lucas ;)
    it was fun seeing you and Alex ‘destroying’ the competition in race 1.
    Too bad about the wheel problem in race 2. Would have been thrilling to see the Nissan battling the Porsche.

  23. speedthrill

    You rock Lucas. Many grats from
    Keep it up!! :)
    And keep us proud as fellow sim racers!! :)

  24. Well done Lucas, good luck in the next race… hope you win the championship.

  25. Lucas Ordonez

    Many many thanks guys!!!

    I´m really happy for my first win in my first season in GT4 European Cup!!
    Now I´m focused in the last Round….Portugal on 12th 13th September! Will be tough but we have chances to win the championship so I will do my best for Nissan and Playstation!!

    All the best and again thanks GT Planet fans for your comments!!


  26. Congrats Lucas! Make us all proud ;)

  27. Way to show lots of “oldschool” snobs that grassroots of racing moved away from carting long ago. The only advantage of carting is true G-force feeling and wide angle 3d-vision. And graphics of course:)) In all other aspects simulator + proper controller/seat is better.
    Keep it this way, Lucas.

  28. I’m happy for them that they have so much succes! I didn’t expect that. Congratz with victory. :P

  29. Zimmerd

    Was there too!
    a shame I only saw the second race, where the nissan was out after half an hour..

  30. alaM0000


  31. FLASH48

    Congratulation Lucas!!! Looks like your having a blast! Just wish i was forty year younger, and had a chance to do what you are doing! Good Luck for your remaining races!!

  32. Aristedis

    yes great win for pd…but only nissan have 2 drivers?

  33. G0N7AL0

    GRANDE LUCAS !!! asi se hace amigo .

  34. Many Many Congratulations Lucas!! We’re all cheering for you (pom poms and all :) ) :tup: Good luck in future comps also..

  35. Nice comment, John. A guy plays Gran Turismo all his life, wins an international GT competition held by Sony & Nissan, gets to drive for the factory team, wins a race during his first season, and the only thing your slow ass can come up with is a sarcastic remark. Interesting, indeed.

  36. Ummm…. interesting?

  37. Aristedis

    only nissan have 2 drivers?

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