Two GT Academy Graduates Qualify for the 24 Hours of Le Mans
The climactic final round of "GT Academy 2012" is now underway, but this weekend, the spotlight is on two GT Academy graduates vying for a chance to partake in the greatest and most storied endurance race in the world. During qualifying for the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which took place on June 13 and 14, Lucas Ordonez (the 2008 GT Academy champion) and Jordan Tresson (the 2010 winner) recorded excellent lap times around Sarthe Circuit to secure their entry in the historic race.
They will be contesting in the ultra-competitive LMP2 class. Both men will be piloting racecars powered by the VK45DE engine developed by Nissan for the Super GT Series; however, Ordonez and Tresson will be driving for different teams. Ordonez — who drove in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring as a part of "Team GT Academy," winning his class alongside Kazunori Yamauchi — will be racing with Greaves Motorsports, the winner of last year's LMP2 class at Le Mans. He will be sharing driving duties with former Formula 1 pilot Martin Brundle and his son, Alex Brundle, in the number 42 Zytek Z11SN Nissan. With this team, Ordonez's chances of improving upon last year's 2nd place finish look mighty good.
Tresson, who is participating in the FIA world endurance series this season, will race for the Signatech Nissan Team (Ordonez's team last year) in the No. 23 Oreca 03 Nissan. He is paired with French teammates Franck Mailleux and Olivier Lombard. Both teams participated in the qualifying sessions on June 13 and 14, and both teams showed consistent improvement with each passing session. When the dust settled, it was Greaves Motorsports with Lucas placing 11th place (24th overall) with a time of 3 minutes 40.738 seconds, and Signatech Nissan with Jordan right behind at 3 minutes, 41.982 seconds, placing them in 13th place in their class (26th overall).
The historic running of the 24th Hours of Le Mans starts at 3 p.m. local time on June 16. Be sure to tune in and cheer for our GT Academy drivers.
Comments from Lucas Ordonez:
It is fantastic to be here in the LeMans 24 hours for the second time. Last year we finished second on the podium in the LMP2 Class. It is going to be hard to do it again or to improve this result, but we are here to do it.
It's really exciting to be racing with Martin and Alex Brundle, and to have Martin as a team mate is really special, it's a great opportunity. He is really professional in and out of the car, and is helping me a lot. Just listening to his feedback to the engineers, is a great opportunity for me. And I think we are in great shape to try to win this year's 2012 LeMans 24 Hours.
Comment from Jordan Tresson:
Being here is a dream come true first off, but now I'm looking forward to the race. We still have the two test sessions to come, and the goal is to be as ready as possible. I still need to find some of my braking points and so on that I'm still not happy with at the moment, so it will be important tonight to find the references to have good control in the car, to be quick and consistent. And it would be great if we could make the top of the podium on Sunday at 3pm.