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NISSAN TAKES GLOBAL SPORTSCAR RACING BY STORM
Whether in GT or sports prototype racing, Nissan power and engineering ruled the roost in 2011
Dubai (13 January 2012) - Nissan has made its impressive heritage and performance prowess felt in global motorsport during the last 12 months, with title successes in all of the most prestigious sportscar categories.
In the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC), the Signatech Nissan team took the LMP2 Championship title, while the Nissan-powered car of Greaves Motorsport won the Le Mans Series.
Meanwhile, German JRM German driver pairing, Lucas Luhr and Michael Krumm, sealed the driver's championship victory in the FIA GT1 World Championship in their Nissan GT-R.
Nissan's uniquely innovative grassroots motor racing initiative, the GT Academy, also reaped huge rewards in its third season - inaugural champion, Lucas Ordonez, proved that the initiative, run in conjunction with Sony PlayStation, can genuinely turn gamers into real racing drivers, as the Spaniard competed in his first Le Mans 24 Hours, finishing on the podium in one of the toughest races in the world.
Darren Cox, Nissan Europe Chief Marketing Manager, Crossover and Sports Cars, said: "Last year was an incredible year for Nissan's motorsport activities, with Championship wins across the board and a huge amount of focus and dedication getting its just rewards. We are very proud of all our partner teams for the incredible efforts they have made this year.
"The Nissan GT Academy has also come of age and shown that the drivers it produces are not playing games any more - In June 2011, Lucas discovered that taking to the Le Mans track in the dark just after a rain shower is as real as it gets. GT Academy is real and it works, on every level."
The success of the GT Academy was further reinforced by Ordonez's fellow former champion, Jordan Tresson, who secured the GT4 Blancpain Euro Endurance championship title and victory in the Spa 24 Hours, in his RJN-run Nissan 370Z.
The latest graduate of the GT Academy, Briton Jann Mardenborough, faces his biggest test to date when he joins his fellow ex-GTA winners Lucas Ordonez, Jordan Tresson and GTA USA victor, Bryan Heitkotter as they share a GT4-spec 370Z in this weekend's Dubai 24 Hours.
Elsewhere in 2011, Nissan's flagship accessible supercar, the GT-R, was also victorious in the Japanese Super GT series under the Mola GT-R team banner and the new Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 made its international debut ahead of a fuller campaign in various planned 2012 GT3 series.
Nissan will be back to defend its titles in endurance series, both in the LMP2 sports prototype category and the FIA World Endurance Championship this season and will once again take on the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours in the LMP2 class, with famous father and son pairing, Martin and Alex Brundle.