28 April 2014
Heidfeld added to Nissan 24 Hours assault
Nick Heidfeld will increase his role with Toyota to include an appearance as part of a strong driving line-up at this year's Nurburgring 24 Hours.
Nissan has announced that it will be taking its GT-R back to the Nordschleife with an assault on the 2014 Nurburgring 24 Hours.
The event, to be held on 21-22 June this season, is one of the toughest endurance races in the world, providing the ultimate test of man and machine as they compete on the daunting Nordschleife, which has been the scene of many Nissan road car time attacks over the years. The latest saw the new Nissan GT-R NISMO road car complete a lap in just 7mins 08.679secs, a record that underlined Nissan's continued long-term commitment to developing its performance models at the 'Ring.
Behind the wheel for the record-breaking lap was Michael Krumm, who will feature as part of the Nissan line-up for the 24 Hours, where he will be joined in the #30 car by fellow Nissan Super GT racer Kazuki Hoshino, NISMO Global Exchange driver Katsumasa Chiyo and 'Ring regular Tetsuya Tanaka.
"Driving a Nissan GT-R at the Nurburgring is pure pleasure,” Krumm admitted, “To have the opportunity to battle for top positions makes this year's race very special for me. I have been waiting for this opportunity for a few years now, and it looks like this could be the shot for a good position.
“Having said that, anything can happen at the Nordschleife, so we also need luck. For the young drivers in our team, it will be a huge challenge. The Nordschleife is the most challenging circuit in the world and, when you add rain and fog to the equation, things can get even more uncomfortable. However, I'm sure they will all do a great job, as everyone has been very well prepared by Nissan and NISMO."
An even bigger name will spearhead the sister entry, as GT Academy Germany judge – and former F1 driver - Nick Heidfeld will race the #80 GT-R NISMO GT3 alongside the most recent GT Academy Germany winner, Florian Strauss - who was chosen by the Rebellion Racing regular to make the transition from virtual to reality just eight months ago - as well as fellow GT Academy graduate Lucas Ordonez and British Nissan GT regular Alex Buncombe.
“I'm delighted to increase my involvement with Nissan from my judging role on the German GT Academy show to now also include racing the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 at the Nurburgring 24 Hours,” Heidfeld said, “To be team-mates with Florian - who I helped select as the 2013 winner of the GT Academy competition - is quite incredible and is a great chance for me to continue the mentoring process with him at the Nordschleife. Together with Alex and Lucas, we will tackle one of the most beautiful and challenging circuits in the world."
The #30 and #80 cars will be run by Nissan GT Academy Team RJN, in conjunction with NISMO Factory engineers from Japan, while a further GT-R is entered by Schulze Motorsport. The third car also has a star driver from the virtual world, with the creator of Gran Turismo, Kazanori Yamauchi, teaming up with 2009 GT Academy winner Jordan Tresson.
“The Nurburgring 24 Hours is a special event for Nissan,” Darren Cox, NISMO global head of brand, marketing and sales, confirmed, “To compete at the Nordschleife will be a very proud moment for everyone involved as we think about the long line of road specification GT-Rs and now the GT-R NISMO that have grown up there.
“It is important to show our fans and customers again that there is cross over between road cars and race car development at Nissan. There is no better evidence of that than the Japanese based NISMO engineers' huge commitment to this global effort.”
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