Jann Mardenborough, Lucas Ordonez and Michael Krumm have been confirmed as the next three drivers for Nissan’s return to the LMP1 class in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship.
The Japanese manufacturer will be taking on the might of Audi, Toyota and Porsche in the top class of endurance racing in 2015, having confirmed the first three drivers earlier this month.
We now know the identities of the men filling the next three seats in the Nissan LMP1 programme, with both Mardenborough and Ordonez being graduates of the GT Academy that looked to take racers from their PlayStation gamesm console to the race track.
Mardenborough, 23, won the GT Academy competition back in 2011 after beating 90,000 other entrants in the competition that sees racers initially set a time on the Gran Turismo PlayStation game before moving onto the race track.
The Briton has since balanced his racing career in both sportscars and single-seaters, finishing third in the LMP2 class at Le Mans in 2013 and fifth in 2014. He finished ninth in last year’s GP3 championship, but is now set for the step up to LMP1 with Nissan.
“I want to show that there is a different route to the top of motorsport, than just years and years of expensive go karting, by winning at Le Mans,” said Mardenborough, who will race in the #22 car alongside Marc Gene and Harry Ticknell.
“It’s an honour for me to be chosen to compete in LMP1 for Nissan. I have raced at Le Mans twice in LMP2 so I have seen the current LMP1 cars at very close quarters out on the track. To think I will be racing one this year is very exciting. The Nissan GT-R LM NISMO looks set to be a historic race car and I get to drive it!”
Ordonez was the first GT Academy winner back in 2009, and has twice finished on the podium at Le Mans in the LMP2 class. He will race in the third Nissan car in tandem with a full season the Japanese Super GT championship.
“When I received the call telling me I would race the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO and the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 it was like winning GT Academy all over again,” Ordonez said. “Last year was incredible, racing in Japan and learning all about the unique racing culture over there. Now I get to race in the top class in Japan and at Le Mans I will jump into the ultimate GT-R.”
Krumm, 44, brings a wealth of experience to the team having raced in GT and sportscars for the past 20 years. He has also been an important part of the Nissan NISMO family, and will race alongside Olivier Pla in the #23.