Nissan's gamer-turned-racer Lucas Ordonez scored a podium finish in his debut drive in the world's highest profile motor race yesterday.
Ordonez' Signatech Oreca 03 Nissan team led the LMP2 class of the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours early, but a puncture dropped it to fiftieth place inside the first hour of the race.
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Undeterred, the team worked solidly to work its way back to ninth place outright and second in the LMP2 class, despite a second puncture late in the race. It's just three years since Ordonez won the Nissan Playstation Academy.
"This is the best feeling I have ever had," said Ordonez. "The team is amazing. We had a few problems but they managed it perfectly and now we are on the podium at Le Mans! There was a second when I thought it was all over and that was a difficult moment but we recovered and made it to second place. This is going to take some time to sink in!"
The Signatech team of went into the race with pole position for the LMP2 class, courtesy of an excellent Soheil Ayari lap during Thursday night's qualifying session.
In his tenth Le Mans 24 Hour race, Ayari was over a second a lap quicker than anyone else in the LMP2 class, but Team Oreca Matmut still went into the race with outright favoritism for the class, courtesy of a strong driver line-up in an identical car to Signatech.
Check the image gallery to see Lucas living the dream of a professional racer during race week in front of 250,000 fans.
View gallery - 44 images