Nissan has named Lucas Ordóñez as the official test and development driver of the Nissan ZEOD RC program. The ZEOD RC electric race car was launched at Le Mans in June 2013 and will have its debut at the 2014 edition of the classic endurance event. Ordóñez will take the Nissan ZEOD RC to the track for the first time in September for testing.
Ordóñez is a case of "gamer-to-racer"transformation after winning the inaugural Nissan PlayStation GT Academy contest in 2008 and then went on to become one of the star Nismo Athletes with Le Mans 24 Hours podiums.
He won that the 2011 Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and recently copped the third place at the Spa 24 Hours for Nissan. Ordóñez also made appearances at this year’s FIA GT Series, Blancpain Endurance Series, World Challenge Series and the Japanese SUPER GT championship. He recently tested a V8 Supercar for the Nissan factory team in Australia.
The carmaker announced the appointment of Ordóñez at the Nissan 360 global media event in California. Ordóñez remarked that being part of the Nissan ZEOD RC program for Le Mans “is amazing.”
Nissan recently completed the first chassis for the ZEOD RC, with its final construction currently underway. The Nissan ZEOD RC will be in full electric-only mode when it runs for the first time in September. The carmaker is testing a number of electric drive-train solutions during the ZEOD RC’s development before deciding for the right specs for the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours.
"It's unbelievable. After working with Ben Bowlby and the guys developing the Nissan DeltaWing for Petit Le Mans, it's really amazing to have this great news," Ordóñez said. "To work again with this group and to be part of this project for Le Mans is amazing. To actually start from the beginning of the project is just a dream for me. I'm really looking forward to working with the team to develop all the new technology in the ZEOD RC and to develop the car on track. It's a unique experience. I really like to learn from engineers, learn from teams and learn about new products like this because we get to do so much testing. That's what I need as a racing driver right now. I've been proud of my pace competing against all of the other drivers but now it's time to go one step higher in my career in developing the ZEOD RC." added Ordóñez. [source: Nissan]