Nissan isn't renewing contracts of some drivers


In what seems to be a reformulation of its motorsports activities, Nissan will not retain a pair of talented drivers formed in the GT Academy program in partnership with Sony, as Wolgfang Reip and Gaƫtan Paletou are confirmed to be out of their contracts with the Japanese manufacturer. Both confirmations of the news about Reip and Paletou came from Dailysportscar reports.

Reip, GT Academy graduate in the European competition in 2012, caused immediate impact in the sportscar world as in his first full season as a Nissan driver by achieving a podium at the 24 Hours of Spa, as well by doing an excellent drive in his prototype debut with Greaves Motorsport in the FIA World Endurance Championship racing in the 6 Hours of Bahrain.

After that, the 2015 season was the most rewarding to the Belgian gamer-turned-racer, as he started the year winning the Bathurst 12 Hours along with Katsumasa Chiyo and Florian Strauss, which also was the first win for a Pro-Am entry from the main class in the Australian endurance classic. This was followed by his first championship title, as Chiyo and Alex Buncombe, mentor of the GT Academy graduates, won the Blancpain Endurance Series title in the first effort of a Pro team from Nissan GT Academy Team RJN. He also achieved victories and podiums in the recently created Renault RS01 Sport Trophy.


Paletou won the European GT Academy competition in 2014 and he learned to be quick on track in short time, as he was part of the lineup that took a second place finish in the A6-Am class at the Dubai 24 Hours. He is also pretty skilled with prototypes, as his stint Team LNT in the LMP3 class racing in the European Le Mans Series brought him three podium with a victory in the final round at Estoril.

Podiums at the Blancpain Endurance Series and in the 24 Hours of Silverstone add a lot to his CV, and he was so highly rated that after good tests with LMP2 machinery, he took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, although he wasn't able to drive as the car retired before his stint.

As it's an early date since the announcement, both drivers don't have any immediate plans for the 2016 season and beyond.

UPDATE:


The list of drivers that won't be retained by Nissan grew up today as there's the confirmation that Russian driver Mark Shulzhitskiy will be out of the Japanese manufacturer.

Shulzhitskiy became a GT Academy graduate in 2012 along with Reip, and he was integrated to the GT3  and customer LMP2 programs in 2013, achieving good results in the Pro-Am category of the Blancpain Endurance Series. After that he established himself in the prototypes, first racing the LMP2 class to then make part of the factory LMP1 program with the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO that raced only at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

PHOTOS: GT Academy, NISMO