- Lucas Ordonez and Michael Krumm take to the track in Nissan Altima V8 Supercars
- Wolfgang Reip and Alex Buncombe on FIA GT duty in Slovakia
- Jann Mardenborough returns from Super GT test to race in Formula 3
- Crucial time for the next generation of GT Academy winners
ROLLE, Switzerland - Formula One might be taking a holiday at the moment but these are busy times for the NISMO Athletes who are competing all over the world.
Lucas Ordonez and Michael Krumm have just completed a V8 Supercars test at Winton Raceway in Australia, an opportunity that came their way via the new NISMO Global Driver Exchange.
Nissan GT Academy Team RJN is at the Slovakia Ring to defend the lead in the FIA GT Series Pro-Am standings.
Fresh from a Super GT test, Jann Mardenborough is back at the Nurburgring where he took his breakthrough pole position last year, to race against some of the world's best single-seater drivers in the FIA European F3 Championship.
As the NISMO Athletes race around the world the next generation of GT Academy winners are in action at the moment too. Ashley Oldfield, the 2012 South African winner, is in Britcar action at Snetterton, as he goes through the vital Nissan Driver Development Program that readies the winners for international racing.
In September 'Race Camp' will take place for the 2013 GT Academy competitions and by the end of the month the new winners will have been selected. The National Finals are taking place across the regions right now to select the competitors for Race Camp so there are a lot of gamers pushing hard to become the next GT Academy winner.
Michael Krumm has been helping the NISMO Athletes get used to Super GT and life in Japan but he had some new experiences himself.
"Driving the V8 Supercar was quite an experience," said Krumm. "We prepared well, the team gave us all the information about the car, how it is to drive, but when you actually get it, they are awesome cars. The Nissan Altimas have a lot of power and not much downforce, so it's not what I'm used to, but it was much better to drive that I expected. It was great here at Winton. It's kind of a crazy track. It's a big challenge, bumpy and tight and has lots of different corners, but the cars are great fun. Everyone wants to come and race at Bathurst or the Gold Coast, so I'd really love the chance to drive these cars again in the future."
Lucas Ordonez is a man in demand and this weekend will see the Spaniard make his Super GT debut at the Suzuka 1000kms. Before heading to Japan though he joined Michael Krumm for a taste of racing Aussie-style.
"The car is amazing," said Lucas. "Lots of power, 650hp in the Nissan V8, so I've really enjoyed it. It is very challenging for a new driver in these cars, but I was getting on the pace towards the end. It was very tricky on brakes, but I was pushing and trying to find the limit. This NISMO Driver Exchange Program is really good for the drivers and it's amazing to be here in Australia, and then this weekend I'm racing in Japan!"
With all of this overseas action Lucas has had to sit out the next round of the FIA GT Series, which takes place this weekend at the Slovakia Ring.
Nissan GT Academy Team RJN will be running just one Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 as the No.32 car is having some T.L.C. after the accident at the Spa 24 Hours but the G-Drive liveried GT-R will be back in business after Slovakia. The No.35 YouTube GT-R will be raced by 2012 GT Academy Europe winner, Wolfgang Reip, still buzzing from his podium finish at the Spa 24 Hours. His teammate in Slovakia will be Alex Buncombe who took second place in class at the last FIA GT race so both drivers are motivated to race at the front and make sure the team stays at the top of the Pro-Am standings.
"Slovakia Ring looks like a really nice track," said Wolfgang. "There are some very fast corners, which I am excited to try out in the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3. I will be spending some time on the NISMO Simulator before the race to learn the circuit so that I can hit the ground running when I get to Slovakia. This is probably the track that will suit the GT-R the most in the FIA GT calendar and with Alex as my teammate our performance should be great. Alex is my benchmark; he is very, very fast and his starting style is amazing. This is the first time I will be in the same car as Alex so I think I will learn a lot this weekend."
Both FIA GT races at the Slovakia Ring take place this Sunday at 10:15 and 14:15 local time. Follow the action live on NISMO.tv.
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