A fourth graduate of Nissan’s GT Academy is to join the prototype ranks with a one-off at the Shanghai round of this year’s World Endurance Championship in November.
Mark Shulzhitskiy, the winner of last year’s Russian Academy, will follow in the footsteps of Lucas Ordonez, Jordan Tresson and Jann Mardenborough when he moves up to P2 to drive a Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan Z11SNs in China on Nov. 9. The 24-year-old, who is racing with the RJN Academy team in this year’s FIA GT and the Blancpain Endurance series, is being given a tryout in a P2 ahead of a possible Le Mans 24 Hours debut next year.
The move parallels the way Ordonez was assessed with a run in the KSM team’s Lola-Judd at the 2010 Silverstone Le Mans Series round prior his full-time graduation to the category.
“Mark has done an excellent job so far and we want to see if he is ready for Le Mans,” Nissan global motorsport director Darren Cox said. “We’re doing the same thing as we did with Lucas, and look what he has gone on to achieve. We want to give Mark a chance in P2 and we reckon he will be good.”
Shulzhitskiy’s only confirmed teammate so far is America’s Eric Lux, who drove with the team in the Sebring 12 Hours and the Le Mans 24 Hours earlier this year.
Former British Formula 3 champion Robbie Kerr will return to the G-Drive/Delta-ADR P2 squad to drive its second ORECA-Nissan 03 at Shanghai after a two-race absence. U.S.-based Chinese driver David Cheng will get his chance in the WEC with the OAK team with which he won the most recent Asian Le Mans Series race at Zhuhai in China. The 23-year-old will share the French squad’s third Morgan-Nissan LMP2 with team boss Jacques Nicolet and Keiko Ihara.