The Nismo Athletes on board the Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan had nothing to be ashamed about. Completing a 24 hour race in a 4th place class finish after a night long battle for the podium with a first timer on board – and doing the lion’s share of the driving too – is well worth a round of applause. But this morning they find themselves with an unexpected trophy.
Co-driven by GT Academy Russia judge Roman Rusinov, the third place finishing G-Drive Racing Oreca-Nissan has been excluded from the official results following a technical infringement regarding an oversized fuel tank.
The maximum permitted fuel tank size in LMP2 is 75 litres and the #26 car has been found to be over this limit. While G-Drive boss Simon Dowson insists the infringement gave them no advantage and was beyond their control, pending any appeal this moves Jann, Lucas and Michael up to the final step of the LMP2 podium and 9th overall.
Jann and Lucas will be sharing the first GT-R with Wolfgang Reip and Peter Pyzera, while the second will be driven by Alex Buncombe, Mark Shulzhitskiy and Steve “Dan Mitchell” Doherty – following a request from the BES organisers to split Lucas and Alex into different cars. The prodigious pace of both drivers has seen them tear up the grid in both qualifying and race conditions, with speed beyond cars in the leading full pro category.
The fourth driver of the Buncombe-Shulzhitskiy-Doherty car for Spa will be yet another Buncombe – Alex’s older brother Chris. Chris is no stranger to 24 hour racing himself, racing a Corvette at the Spa 24h six years ago and winning LMP2 at Le Mans the same year.
Meanwhile the story isn’t over for at least one former GT Academy winner. 2010’s champion Jordan Tresson may not be amongst the Nismo Athletes any more, but he’s still racing and still connected to Gran Turismo.
Jordan has found himself a seat in the VLN Endurance Racing Championship, driving the very same #135 Lexus IS-F as Gran Turismo series creator Kazunori Yamauchi. Jordan occupied Kazunori’s spot during the recent Adenauer ADAC Simfy Trophy 4 hour race, driving the SP8 car to an excellent 3rd place class finish.
Thumbnail images courtesy of Nissan and Jordan Tresson.