From Playstation To Le Mans

From Playstation To Le Mans

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
03 Mar 2011

In 2008, Nissan teamed up with PlayStation to ask the question; can a super-fast gamer become a super-fast driver in the real world?

In less than three years, Lucas Ordoñez has proved the answer to be a resounding ‘yes'. His transformation from novice to professional racing driver has amazed the motor sport fraternity and the extraordinary story will reach climax on 11 and 12 June. Lucas will line up to contest arguably the most famous race in the world, the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The 25-year-old Spaniard will contest the full Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in 2011 behind the wheel of a Nissan-powered LMP2 car for the Signatech Nissan team.

For his part, Lucas is naturally thrilled to be given the opportunity to take to the legendary track for the famous 24 Hour race. "It is beginning to sound a bit clichéd for me to keep talking about ‘living my dream'," said the former MBA student. "However, the past three years have been amazing and now to have been given the opportunity by Nissan to race at the Le Mans 24 Hours, as well as all the other fantastic races in the Intercontinental Le Mans Series, is incredible. I recognise that this is a big challenge and a great honour and I can't wait to get started at Sebring later this month."

Lucas was among the fastest of the 25,000 people that entered the first GT Academy competition on PlayStation's Gran Turismo game. He won a place to represent Spain at a five-day training camp at the UK's Silverstone circuit and emerged victorious. Between September and the end of 2008, Lucas embarked on an intensive driver training programme to qualify for an international racing licence. With the licence secured in record time, Lucas headed to Dubai in January 2009 and joined former Le Mans and Grand Prix winner Johnny Herbert in the GT Academy Team, contesting the Dubai International 24 Hours in a Nissan 350Z.

The Intercontinental Le Mans Series consists of seven races in 2011. Starting with the 12 Hours of Sebring in Florida on 19 March, it includes a number of famous races such as the 1,000km of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, the Le Mans 24 Hours and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. The series finale takes place in November in China.

Nissan and PlayStation's GT Academy competition continues to grow. In 2010, the second instalment, 1.2 million gamers from across Europe entered. A new GT Academy North America is now running and the third European competition will start on 4 March, with a six-week virtual time trial on the new Gran Turismo 5 game.

Credits: wilswong

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