Nissan's inaugural 'gamer-to-racer' Lucas Ordonez has been appointed as the official test and development driver of the Nissan ZEOD RC programme, the unique electric race car that will debut at next year's Le Mans 24 Hours.
Launched at Le Mans in June this year, the Nissan ZEOD RC will make its race debut at next year's 24 Hours event. It will hit the track for the first time next month for testing with Ordonez entrusted with the development duties for the car.
The 28-year-old won the inaugural Nissan PlayStation GT Academy competition in 2008 and has gone on to become one of the star Nismo Athletes with Le Mans 24 Hours podiums, a championship win in the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and a third place recently at the Spa 24 Hours for Nissan with an all-gamer line-up of GT Academy graduates.
In addition to racing in this year's FIA GT Series and the Blancpain Endurance Series, Ordonez has also made appearances in the World Challenge Series in the US, the Japanese Super GT championship and also recently tested a V8 Supercar for the Nissan factory squad in Australia.
“It's unbelievable. After working with Ben Bowlby and the guys developing the Nissan DeltaWing for Petit Le Mans, it's really amazing to have this great news,” Ordonez said. “To work again with this group and to be part of this project for Le Mans is amazing. To actually start from the beginning of the project is just a dream for me.
“I'm really looking forward to working with the team to develop all the new technology in the ZEOD RC and to develop the car on track.
“It's a unique experience. I really like to learn from engineers, learn from teams and learn about new products like this because we get to do so much testing. That's what I need as a racing driver right now.
“I've been proud of my pace competing against all of the other drivers but now it's time to go one step higher in my career in developing the ZEOD RC.”
Nissan's Director of Global Motorsports Darren Cox believes that Ordonez will make a valuable contribution to the development of the new ground-breaking race car.