NISSAN POWERS TO THE FRONT AT SPA
Next stop Le Mans for Lucas Ordonez
The Nissan-powered TDS Racing Oreca took the victor’s spoils at the 1000kms of Spa earlier today. Nissan power also took second place with the Boutsen Energy Racing Oreca and fifth place for Signatech Nissan, driven by Nissan’s GT Academy graduate, Lucas Ordonez and his team-mates Franck Mailleux and Soheil Ayari.
Nissan was pipped to the post in qualifying when the Honda-powered Strakka car took pole position. Nissan soon regained the upper hand when the race began and all four Nissan-powered cars jumped the Honda with Ayari taking the lead.
The Signatech Nissan team opted to double stint Ayari before Lucas jumped aboard. Just before he pitted from the lead, Soheil had contact with a BMW and when Lucas took the wheel he felt that the steering wasn’t as it should be.
I opted to pit again so that the team could check that everything was okay, explained Lucas. They did some fast work on the car and sent me on my way and I was soon able to get back in the groove and put in consistently good lap times. The traffic is very hard to deal with here as on one side you have the Audis and the Peugeots and on the other the GT cars. There is a lot to deal with but each time I race I learn more.
The traffic caused problems for a lot of the cars today, not least the Greaves Motorsport team whose Zytek Nissan suffered damage that put the car in the garage for 45 minutes. Karim Ojjeh was at the wheel when it happened.
I was going into La Source and trying to pass another car, Karim explained. He squeezed me into the wall and I had to pit with front suspension damage. This delayed us a lot but we finished eighth and we are still third in the Le Mans Series championship.
For Signatech Nissan the result today was disappointing after the team took second at round one in Sebring. The fact that Franck Mailleux took fastest LMP2 race lap shows that the pace is still red hot and bodes well for Le Mans. Team boss Philippe Sinault knows his team is capable of the top results and this is always the target for his team.
It was all looking good at the start, said Phillipe. Lucas felt a vibration when he took over from Soheil so when he came in we changed the steering rack just to be safe. It’s good Le Mans training for the mechanics! Lucas’ times were good and he was on used tyres so he is doing a good job. We are of course disappointed not to win as we know we have the package to deliver the top results. Now we focus on Le Mans!