Nissan’s GT Academy winners ready to race
Final preparations are underway at the Dubai Autodrome tonight for the start of tomorrow’s Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai. With all three cars qualifying well in their groups the scene is set for a good showing when the lights go green tomorrow.
The GT Academy winners have qualified their Nissan 370Z in fourth place in the SP2 class with the Challenger’s Nissan 370Z taking the third spot in SP3.
“We had a good session and I am happy with the balance of the car,” said Lucas Ordonez. “It will be important for us to keep the front left tyre safe here as it comes under a lot of stress. Everything is good and I’m excited to be here as the first GT Academy winner, competing alongside Jordan (Tresson), Jann (Mardenborough) and Bryan (Heitkotter). They have all set impressive times so I am looking forward to a good race tomorrow.”
“My main qualifying lap was almost perfect,” commented Tetsuyo Tanaka who drives alongside Humaid Al Masaood and Richard Meaden. “Sectors one and two were great but then I made a mistake under braking in sector three. The car is feeling very good and everything is ready for tomorrow. My team-mates are not experienced but they are both fast and by the end of the race they will have a lot of experience!”
RJN GT Academy Team Principal Bob Neville was happy with the work completed by his team today and believes that the foundations have been laid for a good Dubai 24 Hours.
“We’ve had a really smooth day and concentrated on getting the balance right in both of the 370Zs,” said Neville. “We had a couple of small problems but all of the drivers got plenty of laps in with Jann and Bryan also running in the SP3 car. They are all comfortable out on the track so all is well with us.”
The Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 will start the race from third place on the grid after a great drive from Michael Krumm. Considering this was Krumm’s first time in the GT3 car it was a great performance.
“We had a tough start today as we had a few problems with the car but the guys did a great job to get it ready for qualifying,” said Krumm. “The car worked very well and I am very impressed with the engine in particular. I love the GT-R and I love it even more now. We just need to keep it all together for the long race tomorrow.”
JRM’s James Rumsey added: “During the practice sessions today it was a case of one niggle after another but this was the first time we ran with some updated parts so it’s good to find all the problems during practice. I think the performance in qualifying demonstrates the potential of the car, especially as we had little opportunity for set-up work. This is a positive result for our continuing development programme.”