Anthony Davidson had a successful outing in last weekend’s Spa 24 Hours when he helped put the new Nissan GT-R through its paces in the FIA GT series endurance race.
The former F1 pilot and BBC radio commentator drove to third place in the GT1 category and 13th overall alongside Germany’s Michael Krumm and Britain’s Darren Turner, despite early-morning drivetrain and brake issues that cost the partnership an hour and a half in the pits.
It emerged in 19th place but managed to make up six places during the remainder of the race, achieving a final time of 24:01:49.690.
The car, run by Gigawave Motorsport along with Nissan’s sports division NISMO, is built to the FIA’s 2010 technical regulations and taking part in selected rounds of the 2009 Championship in its development year. Nissan is hoping to market it as a customer racecar in the future.
It qualified eighth and ran as high as fourth during a particularly successful five-hour night-time stint. Its 13th-place finish made it the most successful of the two cars running to 2010 specifications.
The other, the Marc VDS Ford GT, ran into major clutch and engine issues after only half an hour of racing. Hard work by its team ensured that the car finished in 27th place, having retired after 318 laps.
Gigawave estimates that the drivetrain problem cost it more than 15 places and that an overall podium finish would have been a possibility otherwise. It says that, apart from the drivetrain problem, the entire 24-hour race ran smoothly with neither the drivers nor the team making a single mistake.
It adds that, while losing an overall podium finish was a little disappointing, it was delighted to have finished a 24-hour race at the car’s first attempt.
Davidson commented on his website: “It’s never easy running a new car for 24 hours and the team has done an outstanding job to get it to the finish.
“Aside from one technical issue, everything ran like clockwork. I’ve really enjoyed being here, racing with the NISMO and Gigawave MotorSport team, and my team-mates have been fantastic.
“We really gelled. As for the car, reliability seems good. The NISSAN GT-R’s engine, in particular, has proven to be extremely robust. All three drivers have given it death over the weekend and it’s hung on in there!”