July 16, 2012

NISSAN Motor Co., Ltd.
NISSAN Motorsports International Co., Ltd.

-- 2012 European Le Mans Series --

June 15: Donington Park (United Kingdom)
The Nissan-powered Greaves Motorsport team lost out on an assured podium finish at Donington Park this afternoon after a problem with the brakes on their Zytek-Nissan LMP2 car. It was a good day for the Nissan VK45DE engine though as Nissan-powered cars took the first five positions in the six-hour European Le Mans Series race.

#1 Greaves Motorsport #18 Murphy Prototypes

#1 Greaves Motorsport #18 Murphy Prototypes

Excellent drives by Lucas Ordonez, Alex Brundle and Tom Kimber-Smith, along with some impressive work in the pits had the No.1 Greaves Motorsport car lined up for a strong finish today. Alex Brundle took the start and, apart from a moment where he had to run wide to avoid trouble, the young British racer had a good run.

"Alexander Sims in The Status GP car went for the inside pretty aggressively at the Old Hairpin," explained Alex. "Two into one won't go there so I went wide to let him go, especially as it was the first lap of a six hour race. This dropped me to seventh but I managed to take back the two places lost and finished my run in fifth. A seventh place finish is not what we came here for and I think we all deserved better than that today. As always it was a great effort from the team and I hope our time will come soon."

Lucas Ordonez was up next and the Spaniard was soon setting very quick and very consistent lap times. Just after the half way mark of the race the safety car came out while a barrier was repaired due to an unfortunate ‘off’ for the Jota car. At this point Ordonez was leading the race but at the restart he had a problem.

"I struggled to get my tyres up to temperature during the safety car period," explained Lucas. "I got away okay but when I braked for the last turn I locked the front wheels and went onto the grass, dropping down to fourth place. It's clear that the way to win these races is by not making a single mistake! I can take a lot of positives from today though as I think I have more pace now and I have much more confidence too."

Tom Kimber-Smith joined the race in fourth place ready to complete the final two hours and fight for a place on the podium. He was making good progress when he suddenly had to pit in the final hour due to a problem with the front brakes.

"We had a shot at the podium but we didn't have any luck today," said Tom. "I could feel that the brakes were a bit soft but when I went into the hairpin the pedal went straight to the floor. The effect of this is that all the brake pressure goes to the rear so it's like doing a handbrake turn into the hairpin! It's such a shame as Alex and Lucas drove really well and we couldn't have asked more of the team."

After changing the front discs and pads in record time the team sent Tom back out and he completed the race in seventh place.

The top five finishers in today's race were Oak Racing, Thiriet by TDS Racing, Murphy Prototypes, Sebastien Loeb Racing and Pecom Racing, all powered by Nissan.

[Race Results] 6 Hours
Pos No Machine Driver Time / Behind
1 35 OAK Racing Morgan NISSAN Pla / Baguette / Enjalbert 6:00'05.061
2 46 Thiriet by TDS Racing ORECA 03 NISSAN Thiriet / Beche 21.574
3 18 MURPHY Prototype ORECA 03 NISSAN Firth / Hughes / Hartley 32.367
4 19 Sebastien Loeb Racing ORECA 03 NISSAN Sarrazin / Minassian / Marroc 1 Lap
5 10 Pecom Racing ORECA 03 NISSAN Perez Companc / Ayari / Kaffer 1 Lap
7 1 Greaves Motorsport Zytek Z11SN NISSAN Brundle / Kimber-Smith / Ordoñez 17 Lap

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