Nissan Motorsports announced today a partnership with Always Evolving (AE) to campaign two GT Academy-NISMO Nissan GT-R GT3 racing cars for the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge season.
Nissan GT Academy North America 2011 winner Bryan Heitkotter will drive one of the team cars, while Australian open wheel and GT star James Davison will pilot the second car. Featuring logos from the GT Academy program, the two cars will be co-sponsored by Replay XD and NISMO.
- 2011 Nissan GT Academy Champion Bryan Heitkotter to pilot #05 GT-R GT3
- IndyCar, Prototype and GT racer James Davison to Campaign #33 GT-R GT3
- First U.S. Appearance of Nissan GT-R Built to FIA GT3 Specifications
- Debuts in Pirelli World Challenge at Circuit of the Americas March 6-8
AE will utilize AIM Autosport for much of the car preparation and on-track support during the season. AIM won the 2012 IMSA GTD team, driver and manufacturer championships, as well as the 2013 manufacturer title while campaigning a Ferrari.
“Nissan couldn’t be happier to have Always Evolving and AIM as Nissan’s partners to campaign the first GT3 spec GT-Rs in the U.S. in Pirelli World Challenge,” said Rick Kulach, Nissan North America Motorsports Manager. “This partnership is a great opportunity to showcase Bryan’s talents alongside James, who is a rising star in motorsports. It’s exciting to have a GT Academy champion in a great car racing at this level.”
Based in Los Angeles, Always Evolving Racing was founded in 2013 by Erik Davis and Roger Rodas to combine the friends’ passion for cars with their desire to support their favorite charities. Following a tragic automobile accident late in 2013 that took Rodas’ life, Davis elected to continue with Always Evolving in his friend’s honor.
“We are extremely excited to partner with Nissan in Pirelli World Challenge,” said Erik Davis, Chairman of AE. “Our two brands have had a distant relationship for many years, and to be able to now officially launch an effort together bringing the Nissan NISMO GT3 GT-R to North America is humbling to say the least. We look forward to showcasing the team, our drivers, the GT Academy and our sponsors in a very competitive platform.”
Heitkotter, 34, won North America’s first gamer-to-racer GT Academy competition in 2011. In 2012 and 2013 while driving a Nissan 370Z NISMO for Doran Racing, Heitkotter earned three pole positions, two second qualifying spots, four top 10 finishes and a podium. In 2014, Bryan switched to a Nissan Altima for the CA Sports team. There, he earned three podiums and four top five finishes in the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car (TC) category in six events. Most recently, behind the wheel of the Doran #41 370Z NISMO, Heitkotter and GT Academy teammate Nick McMillen finished sixth overall in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Series (CTSCC) race at Daytona International Speedway in January 2015.
“I have been watching the Pirelli World Challenge gain momentum over the past couple years, and I’m absolutely thrilled to help represent Nissan in this highly competitive series,” said Heitkotter. “The GT-R has proven to be a spectacular racing car, and I can’t wait to see what we can all accomplish together.”
Davison, 28, was born in Melbourne, Australia and moved to the United States when he was 18 years of age to develop his skills in open wheel racing. His career highlights include a 2005 victory in Formula BMW at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a runner-up finish in the 2007 Star Mazda Championship, and second spot in the 2009 Indy Lights Championship. Davison ran up front during the 2014 Indianapolis 500 driving for Always Evolving KV Racing Technology, finishing the race in 16th position. In his limited time in sports cars he has always been at the front, driving for the TRG-Aston Martin team in IMSA competition. Davison has recorded five consecutive poles in IMSA including pole position at the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway.
“We have great confidence in Erik (Davis)’s vision and ability to campaign a competitive car at a high level every race,” added Kulach. “James Davison is not only a talented young race driver, but he’s also a great sportsman and will be an outstanding representative for the Nissan brand.”
The first Pirelli World Challenge Race for 2015 will be at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas March 6-8. Television broadcast times have not yet been announced and the series will be webcast via www.world-challengetv.com.
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