Another Nissan GT Academy racer will make his LMP2 debut in this weekend’s Six Hours of Bahrain.
The Japanese manufacturer confirmed Monday that Wolfgang Reip will drive the Greaves Motorsport Zytek Z11SN Nissan in the FIA WEC season finale, expected to be joined by co-drivers Bjorn Wirdheim and Jon Lancanster.
It will mark the second consecutive race that a GT Academy driver will be making his LMP2 debut, following an impressive performance from Russian Mark Shulzhitskiy in the most recent round in Shanghai, who along with Wirdheim and Eric Lux, finished fourth in class.
“My first laps in an LMP2 car will be during Free Practice 1 in Bahrain,” Reip said. “I have trained in the Nismo Simulator to get a feel for the track so already I have a good grasp of the speed into the corners and the braking points.
“I have also upped my game in the gym as LMP2 is tougher on the body than GT3 and it will of course be hot in Bahrain. It looks like a good track; it has three pretty big straights, a lot of slow corners and three fast ones so it will be a good challenge for me.”
The 2012 GT Academy Europe winner, who has spent this year in the FIA GT Series and Blancpain Endurance Series in a Nissan GT-R GT3 car, has set realistic expectations for this weekend.
“Considering this is my first race in an LMP2 car and my first race in the World Endurance Championship, I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself,” Reip said.
“My target is to learn but I hope to do this quickly and help my two teammates to get a good result. So far I think I can say that I am able to adapt to faster cars very quickly so you never know. A podium would be great. Imagine that!”
Nissan’s Director of Global Motorsport, Darren Cox added: “Wolfie deserves this opportunity. His first international race was in Dubai at the start of this year and he soon got a taste of real endurance racing when a car ahead of him shed a tire into his path.
“The calm way he dealt with that showed us that we had found another top driver and he has gone from strength to strength in the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3, coming of age with a podium finish at the Spa 24 Hours.”