LE MANS, France – As the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours approaches the halfway mark, Nissan's Jann Mardenborough and Mark Shulzhitskiy, along with their Oak Racing teammate Alex Brundle, are extending their lead in the LM P2 class.
Mardenborough took the start and made a great getaway, immediately challenging for second place but finding the door firmly closed. He learned the downside of racing a closed cockpit car when his windscreen got covered in oil and, while going for the wipers as he exited Arnage, he hit the pit limiter button, which allowed the car behind to slip through and he fell to fourth. Undeterred he fought back and regained third before moving up to second place by the end of his run.
Alex Brundle jumped in for the next run and had to deal with a heavy rain shower that caught out many drivers. The No.35 Ligier-Nissan dropped right down to seventh at that point as Alex had to do an extra stop for tires so it was then his turn for a fight back drive. Fight back he did, eventually taking the lead four and a half hours into the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Then it was time for Mark Shulzhitskiy to make his Le Mans debut. Mark is the fifth GT Academy winner to race at Le Mans and the Russian excelled in his first stint, retaining the lead and making the times tumble with a professional display of driving talent.
It was the Jann's turn to jump back in to pull a quadruple stint as night fell at Le Mans.
"That was the best run I've ever had in any car," he said. "For me it couldn't have gone any better. I don't think I've ever been able to say before that it was perfect but this time it really was. I got my fastest lap on tires that had done two stints so that goes to show how well balanced this car is. I'm learning a lot about tyre management. We've got a good lead on the car behind now so let's hope we can continue like this."
As the race goes on through the night NISMO.TV continues to broadcast live from Le Mans. The onboard camera from the No.35 Ligier-Nissan is proving to be a highlight with viewers as Mardenborough, Shulzhitskiy and Brundle battle to stay on top of LM P2.
# # #