HEUSDEN-ZOLDER, Belgium – The only way is up for Nissan GT Academy Team RJN after a trying weekend at Zolder in Belgium. The second round of the FIA GT Series delivered two more good race finishes for the newest GT Academy graduates, but for the first graduate, Lucas Ordonez, it truly was a weekend to forget.
Local man Wolfgang Reip and his teammate, Russian racer Mark Shulzhitskiy, started the qualifying race from 17th place and managed to avoid any drama, coming home in 15th. Today's main race was a tougher call as Mark was involved in some first lap fighting. He recovered and pitted the No.32 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 and was soon back out on track where he was able to run at full race pace. Wolfgang took over for the run to the checkered flag and crossed the line in 14th place overall, which was fifth in the Pro-Am class.
"We had our share of drama this weekend," said Wolfie. "But we are happy to get another race finish under our belts. This is still a big learning process for me and Mark, so to be out there competing against people like Sebastien Loeb is incredible. It was great to have my family and friends here today. I think they understand now that being a racing driver is very hard work. I'm now very much looking forward to our next race as it is at Silverstone which is a track I know well."
Lucas Ordonez and Alex Buncombe had a tough time in the qualifying race, which came to an end when the Spaniard was hit by an over exuberant Audi driver. He had to pit the YouTube liveried Nissan GT-R and retire.
Lucas was at the wheel for the start of the main race but became a passenger when he went for a gap only to find it filled with a broadsided Mercedes, which had spun after having a battle with another car. The damage to the GT-R was race-ending so Lucas had to retire for the second time this weekend.
"It was tight for everyone at the start," he explained. "I was trying to be very careful but I ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We will dust ourselves off and come back fighting. Next up is Silverstone and we will be strong there I am sure."
"Motorsport can hurt sometimes," said Nissan's Director of Global Motorsports, Darren Cox. "Lucas and Alex have had a very tough weekend and had to retire twice due to other people's accidents. Mark and Wolfie have again done us proud though and leave Zolder with another few hours of racing experience logged and they will both only get stronger and faster."
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