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Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 is a car that likes a bit of room to stretch its
legs. At Monza - the Cathedral of Speed - there is plenty of room for
that, albeit shared with 59 other cars racing in the Blancpain Endurance
Series.Nissan's gamers-to-racers also like a bit of room to
show what they are made of and Monza was the perfect place for them to
sample some flat-out GT racing, amongst some of the best professionals
in the business.The YouTube-liveried No.35 GT-R came home sixth
in the Pro-Am class at Monza after dramatically taking the lead in the
early stages of the race. The No.32 GT-R, raced by three GT Academy
winners who only graduated last August, finished eighth in class.This
was the first race at Monza for Lucas Ordonez and the four most recent
winners of GT Academy - Wolfgang Reip, Mark Shulzhitskiy, Peter Pyzera
and Steve Doherty. Alex Buncombe has raced at the home of the Italian
Grand Prix before and it was his performance today that shone as bright
as the Italian sunshine.Alex took the start in the YouTube GT-R
after qualifying in a very strong fourth position. By the end of lap
one he was up to second place and hounding the McLaren that had grabbed
the lead at the start. It wasn't long before the GT-R got the better of
the McLaren and he sailed into the outright lead.Wolfgang also
had a fantastic opening stint in the No.32 GT-R, moving up from 27th to
15th overall during his run. Starting the race was a big responsibility
for the Belgian but he made a very mature Monza debut.He said:
"I tried to be careful at the start as turn one is so tight but I was
also keen not to lose any positions. I was surprised at how slow the
cars went through there; we almost stopped. The first lap was okay but
after that it all went a little crazy. I had a great battle throughout
my stint with the Marc VDS BMW of my GT Academy mentor Bas Leinders. He
wasn't actually driving the car during my stint but I made sure that BMW
didn't get past me! Peter and Mark drove so well today and I think we
are all happy with our first race here at Monza."It was Peter
Pyzera who took over after Wolfie's stint and then Mark Shulzhitskiy
took it too the flag. After losing some time in the pits the gamers had a
fight on their hands to regain position but they kept cool heads and
brought the GT-R back in eighth place.After Alex's blazing start
it was Lucas who was next up in the YouTube GT-R and after the pit stop
he was fifth overall and first in the Pro-Am class. He said:
"The GT-R has been great here all weekend so it has been a lot of fun
for us to race at Monza. When I jumped into the car everything felt
great and I could push hard for the first half of my stint. After that I
started to struggle a little with tyre pressures and I struggled
thoughout my run with very heavy traffic. I think I learned more in
this race than I have learned in any race, fighting with the top GT
drivers. Unfortunately I 'did a Hamilton' when I pitted, stopping a
couple of garages short so we lost a bit of time. It has been a
pleasure to race the GT-R here. It felt great to take it through the
famous Monza corners and I will take away some great memories." The Nissan GT Academy Team RJN moves swiftly on now to Zolder in Belgium for the next round of the FIA GT Championship.
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