MARTIN BRUNDLE JOINS SON FOR 24 HOURS OF LE MANS DRIVE
Ex-Formula One driver, Martin Brundle, will join his son Alex at the wheel of the Nissan-powered Greaves Motorsport LMP2 prototype at next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans (June 16-17).
The deal sees Brundle senior reunited with Nissan, after the Englishman spearheaded its official works effort at the world’s oldest and most celebrated endurance race in 1997 with the R390 GT1.
For 2012, the father and son combination will pilot the race-winning Greaves Motorsport Zytek Z11SN-Nissan sports prototype. Not only did the car take the LMP2 class win at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans* on its way to finishing eighth overall, but victories at Le Castellet, Imola and Silverstone also saw the Nissan-engined LMP2 car capture both the 2011 Le Mans Series drivers’ and team titles.
After enjoying a successful Formula One career that spanned 13 years (1984-96), Martin Brundle has remained in the sport as a highly-regarded and multi award-winning commentator on British television.
Joining him in the driver’s line-up for the 80th running of the race will be his 21-year old son Alex.
As the leading British driver in this year’s Formula Two Championship, he will join Greaves Motorsport in 2012 to race the Nissan-powered prototype as the team defends its Le Mans Series crown.
The Brundles will follow in the footsteps of a small number of father-son combinations to have competed at the illustrious race together, including Mario Andretti, with son Michael, and Nigel Mansell with sons Leo and Greg.
Martin Brundle, 52, said: “I’m very much looking forward to returning to the Le Mans 24 Hour race with Nissan and the Greaves Motorsport LMP2 team. This is an unexpected pleasure, heightened by the fact I will be team-mates with my son. I’m eagerly anticipating a very special feeling when handing the car over to Alex during one of the world’s greatest motor races. Class victory in front of the fanatical Le Mans spectators is the goal.”
Alex Brundle, 21, added: “I loved driving the Le Mans circuit at this year’s official test day and a chance to compete in the full Le Mans Series, as well as the Le Mans 24 Hours, along with my single-seater activities in 2012 is brilliant for my career. At Le Mans, my father has been on pole position, led many times and been part of the winning team; this can fast-track my learning process. My thanks go to Nissan and Greaves Motorsport for creating this important opportunity, which I will seize and maximise.”
Simon Sproule, Corporate Vice President, Global Marketing Communications, Nissan, said: “I’m delighted that Nissan will once again be part of one of motorsport’s most famous races, this time with a fascinating father-son pairing. We will again seek to provide a reliable and powerful engine for Martin and Alex and for Greaves Motorsport to follow up on the success we’ve enjoyed in 2011. Martin has won at every level of endurance racing, while Alex’s strong testing performances at Paul Ricard and Le Mans reflect his natural talent and the experience he already holds at 21.”
* Victory secured by Greaves Motorsport Le Mans 2011 drivers: Karim Ojjeh, Olivier Lombard and Tom Kimber-Smith
Nissan in Europe
Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 12,500 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced more than 528,000 vehicles including mini-MPVs, award-winning crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Nissan now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Japanese brand in Europe.