Five of the nine drivers that are set to make their Nissan LMP1 debuts at next month’s 24 Hours of Le Mans cut their teeth at Imola and the Nurburgring over what was a busy weekend in the endurance racing world.
A bumper field of 151 cars took to the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife layout on Saturday afternoon for one of the most fearsome 24 hour races in motorsport, with Audi’s no. 28 car emerging victorious by 40 seconds ahead of the Marc VDS Racing no. 25 BMW.
Nissan enjoyed a particularly fruitful race as three of its LMP1 drivers drove in the no. 35 car for the twice-around-the-clock event. Lucas Ordonez, Michael Krumm and Alex Buncombe ran alongside Super GT racer Kazuki Hoshino en route to ninth place overall, marking the Japanese marque’s best result in recent years.
“We had a very straightforward race,” team boss Bob Neville said. “After the initial single stints the drivers all did doubles and didn’t put a foot wrong. We were pretty cautious during the night when it was raining and this worked out well for us.
“The car ran like clockwork and it is always good to be able to say that the car didn’t need any repairs during the race. I’m very pleased with my team and very happy to take such a good finish here.”
Imola played host to the second round of the 2015 European Le Mans Series season on Sunday, with Nissan’s Harry Ticknell claiming a podium finish in the no. 38 Jota Sport car in the LMP2 class. The race was won by Thiriet by TDS Racing’s no. 46 car, piloted by Pierre Thiriet, Ludovic Badey and Tristan Gommendy.
Another Nissan LMP1 driver, Mark Shulzhitskiy, made his debut for Lanan Racing in LMP3 where he finished third in class.
The quintet will now be turning their attention to Nissan’s LMP1 racing bow at Le Mans, which is less than one month away and promises to be yet another thrilling event.