Inaugural Nissan GT Academy winner Lucas Ordonez will make his Super GT debut in Japan next month as a part of Nissan’s new driver exchange program. The scheme is designed to give the Japanese manufacturer’s roster of drivers greater experience.
Spaniard Ordonez will race a GT300 class Nissan GT-R for NDDP Racing in the Suzuka 1000Km on Aug. 18, while Kazuki Hoshino, one of his teammates in the Super GT event, will join him in Nissan’s lineup at the Blancpain Endurance Series finale at the Nurburgring in September.
Under the NISMO Global Driver Exchange program, a new in-house squad has been created at Nissan’s Japanese motorsport arm. The team will field a GT3-spec GT-R in next February’s Bathurst 12 Hours for a lineup to be led by Nissan Motorsport V8 Supercars driver Rick Kelly. It will also enter the Sepang 12 Hours in Malaysia at the end of August with 2012 Academy winners and Blancpain regulars Wolfgang Reip and Mark Shulzhitskiy.
Ordonez and Steve Doherty, another 2012 Academy winner, will also race Nissan 370Zs in the GTS class of the SCCA World Challenge at Mid-Ohio and Sonoma in August.
Nissan director of global motorsport Darren Cox said: “We have created this program to give all NISMO drivers the opportunity to gain wider experience. It is another step toward a truly global approach to our motorsport activities.
“It’s tough to jump from one championship to another, but our driver development programme isn’t supposed to be an easy ride. The cream will always rise to the top.”