Lucas Ordoñez & Team Win ILMC LMP2 Championship

October 3rd, 2011 by Jordan

The Signatech Nissan team has won the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup LMP2 title after a strong finish in yesterday’s Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, USA.  The team started the season focused on a single goal: to win the title.  The fact that it is ‘mission accomplished’ with one more race remaining is testament to the work that has been put in by every single member of the team.

Although there is no separate driver’s championship in the ILMC, this result means that 2008 Nissan PlayStation GT Academy winner, Lucas Ordoñez , is also now a Champion. It has been a fairytale year for the programme as both Lucas and 2010 winner Jordan Tresson prove beyond doubt that you can cross over from virtual to reality.

Petit Le Mans is always a tough race, fought over the fast sweeping turns of the Road Atlanta road course. With as many cars entered as at Le Mans but on a track only one-third of the length, there is a lot of traffic to deal with during the 10-hour/1000 mile race.

It was Jean-Karl Vernay’s turn to qualify at Atlanta and he duly secured pole position out of the LMP2 ILMC runners and second place of all the LPM2 cars.

Franck Mailleux took the start and soon settled into the lead.  As the drivers each took their turn on the track the team worked hard to carefully manage the numerous safety car periods so no time was lost.  All three drivers posted fast times during the race, including the fastest LMP2 lap of the race.  Their speed was easily enough for a race win but as with all endurance races it is never that straightforward.

Half way through the race the power steering had to be changed and this put the car out of action for 30-minutes and dropped it to third position.  The team made the repairs and sent the car back out to rejoin the battle.  Fortunately this was the only problem and Signatech Nissan made it all the way to the flag and all the way to the title.

“We are very happy to have secured the title this weekend,” said team boss Philippe Sinault. “It is an incredible circuit but the traffic is a nightmare! We knew that the Level 5 Honda would be difficult to beat here but our hopes of victory were eliminated with the mid-race power steering failure. We are very proud to give Nissan this title in the first year of our partnership!”

Philippe also paid tribute to all of the 2011 Signatech Nissan drivers: Franck Mailleux, Jean-Karl Vernay, Soheil Ayari and, of course, Lucas Ordoñez .

“This has been another sensational weekend for us,” said Lucas. “We are the Champions and it is incredible! My biggest handicap this weekend was the traffic, with over 50 cars entered and the big difference between the GT and the LMP cars.  I had to concentrate a lot harder than at the standard six-hour races.  I am proud to have been part of our 2011 success. For me this is something quite indescribable! My thanks to Nissan and the whole team!”

Needless to say, this result is an excellent result not only for Lucas, but for GT Academy and Gran Turismo players (and indeed, all sim-racers) around the world. I had the chance to meet once again with Lucas at the event (who signed my media credentials with a shout-out to GTPlanet), and am very happy he has found such success in such a high level of professional motorsport. Congratulations!

Photography by Josh Koropchak and TKi Motorsport.

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40 Comments

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  1. Thats amazing, Congrats Lucas and team:)

  2. GOTMAXPOWER

    Congrats to Signature on winning LMP2, its a shame that we don’t really know how good they are since P2 is so weak nowadays (only 3 teams entered the ILMC this year). LMP2 used to be competitive in ALMS with Penske’s Porsche RS Spyders, a load of Acura’s, etc…

  3. gt3killer

    Congrats for the win your living the dream!

  4. Curious

    Any idea how much salary Lucas is earning? Just curious what his pay structure is like, if anything- Does he just have a free ride to race, or is he actually making money racing as a Pro Nissan Driver? Totally awesome what he and the other GT Academy winners have accomplished. I hope to see Lucas on top for some time.

    Thanks,

  5. I wonder why these Gran Turismo racing pods at public events are still equipped with the DFGT wheels. Don’t quite get that. Those things are toys in comparison to the T500′s!

  6. Turismo

    “mission accomplished” indeed. :) Lucas and his team are so fantastic. I’m feeling a little inspired by him and his them. Congratulations. *Two Thumbs up* for him and his team.

  7. Congrats to the Signatech team for putting a great car out on the track, and good job to all the drivers for bringing her home safe.

  8. Super T

    Congratulations to the whole team.
    Been following the races all year and it’s not been easy by any stretch of the imagination.

  9. theArmourKing

    it was for Mardiearse

  10. theArmourKing

    buy what? I hate the microsoft & it’s Xbox. Sony the best.

  11. Bravo Lucas, Bravo!… Simply amazing! :)

  12. Congrats to Lucas and the Signatech/Nissan team. Where can I get some hi-res pics to use for my desktop?!

  13. Nicky_loves_GT5

    :D Dreams do come true, after all.

  14. p-coletray

    That’s going to be an awesome party.

  15. XxTh3_St1gxX

    i really hope this car is available in GT5: Spec 2.0

  16. Injured

    HOOOORAHH! Very well deserved for the Signatech team and most of all, LUCAS!

  17. Badger-X-

    Huge congrats to Lucas and the team!

  18. SkierPS3

    Amazing how these GT Academy alumni are doing so well in racing! It seems every week there’s a new headline highlighting another win for them

  19. Amazing and well deserved achievement, Lucas Ordoñez.

  20. overdrive003

    The race was amazing! I got one picture of backfire and that car looks great! Didn’t get to see the whole race but it was great! Good job Lucas!

  21. GTP_Davey07-O37

    Congratulations to Lucas and the team for winning the championship. Awesome job. Well done!!…;-))…

  22. Congratulations Luca and co. Keep on winning. You have our support!

  23. GregTheStig

    I bumped into Lucas on the grid just before the race. Very cool dude. When I saw him the fans were supposed to be clearing the grid for the start of the race so I didn’t have that much time to talk to him.

    And the race itself was epic. I knew when their Nissan was coming because that thing had the loudest backfires of any car there. It was like the sound of an orchestra [the engine] getting gunned down by warlord’s private army [backfires]. Epic.

  24. maxpontiac

    Where did the Forza Academy winner finish?

    • royalefatale

      LOL i heard he spun out and quit the race after finding out you can’t rewind real life

    • AndeMoog

      LOLOL I almost just pissed myself laughing – you guys are hilarious. XBOX and Forza fanatics are now on month #11 of a depressing GT5 takeover. Can’t wait for 2.0, DLC, and everything else Kaz promised.

      CONGRATS LUCAS! You continue to inspire us all…

    • Ya Pops

      All three of you need to get back under your bridge…

    • Ya Pops, get back over to your favorite thread. I know your soul is hurt when someone prefers GT over Forza.

  25. Alex2700

    Does that mean we’re getting Road Atlanta in GT6? Pretty please :)

    • GregTheStig

      +100! Some people just don’t understand how amazing and challenging that track is. I would love to see it in GT5 as DLC or something.

    • Mercedes was there with GT pods so we need this track.

    • AnPrionsaBeag

      I love it in S2U. This track deserves more credit.

    • Big Bopper

      Don’t think it’s in Shift 2….are you thinking of Road America?

  26. CarBastard

    Lucas is showing some serious skills out there, makes me wonder how much of that driving prowess is actually due to GT, because he’s way better than I thought a simulator-to-reality driver would be. Massive congratulations Lucas!!!

    Oh and, KY please give us Signatech Oreca Nissan LMP2 dlc pl0x!!!! :D (Sorry, I had to).

  27. CapnCowboy

    Congratulations!! I was watching some of this race yesterday, good racing!!

  28. First, good for GT. Inspiring.

  29. Congrats to them.

  30. cliffatron

    well done!!!


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