Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lucas crosses the finish line

With GT Academy winner Lucas Ordóñez behind the wheel, the Nissan PlayStation Racing Team’s Nissan 350Z GT4 crossed the finish line of the TOYO Tires 24h of Dubai endurance race to a rapturous reception. The team finished 45th overall and ninth in its class, completing 451 laps and covering a distance of 2431km.

Their placing fails to reflect stunning performances from drivers and pit-crew alike amidst frustrating mechanical difficulties that forced the car into the pits 21 times. During the course of the race they used 1,170 litres of fuel and 30 sets of tyres. The top speed achieved by the car was 150mph and Alex Buncombe recorded t
he quickest lap at 2:10:04 minutes. The fastest driver changeover and refuel was achieved in an incredible 56 seconds.

Land Motorsport 2 took first place overall, completing 573 laps; Al Faisal Racing 1 came in second and won the A5 class in which the Nissan PlayStation team competed; and Besaplast Racing Team claimed third place.

Lucas was clearly elated as he received pats on the back from his teammates and hugs from his family, who have travelled over from Spain and supported him throughout the race. “It was the most amazing feeling,” he beamed. “I saw all of my team climbing the barrier and cheering me on. It was the craziest feeling of my life.”

“This is a weekend of disappointments and great achievements,” declared Johnny Herbert. “Lucas did brilliantly, producing
a mistake-free drive under big pressure. He has achieved everything we had hoped from him and proved that it is possible to make the transition from virtual racing to the real thing.

“It’s a shame about the mechanical problems, but they come with the job. Everyone wants a race without problems but these things rear their ugly head. I’ve been in races where we didn’t even make the finish line so at least we got there.”