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Nissan Shifts 24H Le Mans Lineup; Shulzhitskiy in for Gene

Shulzhitskiy replaces Gene in Nissan’s 24H Le Mans lineup…

Photo: Nissan

Photo: Nissan

Nissan has finalized a slightly revised lineup for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will see three GT-R LM NISMOs on the grid and set to make their official race debut following an increased testing period.

The biggest change comes with Mark Shulzhitskiy replacing Marc Gene as one of the nine race drivers, with Gene moving into an advisory role.

As reported by Sportscar365 yesterday, the Russian had his first seat time in the car at NCM Motorsports Park earlier this week.

Gene, meanwhile, essentially moves into the same position he was with Audi last year before getting a last-minute call-up to fill in for the injured Loic Duval.

“It was a tough decision for me to take a step back for the Le Mans 24 Hours,” Gene said. “I am so impressed with the efforts being made by the team and even though I won’t race at Le Mans I will be there to help with my knowledge of the great race.

“Nissan is innovating in a big way with the GTR LM. Le Mans is going to be a huge challenge and I think that the best way for me to help the team is by taking on an advisory role. I am excited to see from the garage how the car will perform at Le Mans.”

Shulzhitskiy will move into the No. 21 Le Mans-only third car alongside the previously announced Lucas Ordonez and Tsugio Matsuda.

Alex Buncombe, who was due to share that car, replaces Olivier Pla in the No. 22 car alongside Michael Krumm and Harry Tincknell.

Pla, Jann Mardenborough and Max Chilton will share the flagship No. 23 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO.

No mention was made of whether this lineup will remain the same for Nissan beyond Le Mans in the remainder of the FIA World Endurance Championship season.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony


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