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DAVISON: An educational PWC debut with Nissan at COTA

DAVISON: An educational PWC debut with Nissan at COTA

As much as we want to win, the AE Replay XD Nissan GT Academy team team should be pleased with what we were able to accomplish as a group this past weekend. Due to the program coming together much later than desired, our very first test outing was indeed at Circuit of The Americas for the first Pirelli World Challenge race weekend.

We were fortunate to have car constructor JRM's immediate track support to get the car set up in the tight time window, and we placed top five in practice. Qualifying was also strong for both cars – finishing in the top six with adequate performance to make the top four, had it not been for traffic. With 50 cars on the track at once, it was tough for many to secure a clear lap while tires were at their peak for grip.

Race 1 was a very challenging race for me, managing a loose car and holding off attacks for position all race long. It took every bit of my mental energy to keep the car straight and drive the best possible lap times I could. With about three minutes to go, I hit a cliff with traction and dropped from fifth to sixth place. In a stellar field of 35 cars, it was still a solid debut result for both the NISSAN and for me.

Race 2 came with a torrential downpour. We were sixth fastest in the wet in early morning practice, so we were confident going into the race with some setup tweaks. Visibility was terrible and we simply missed the mark on tire pressures, so we were forced to drive around "on egg shells" the entire race. We were not able to demonstrate the potential of the GT-R in the rain this weekend. I had the unique experience of being caught and passed by my IMSA GT Daytona teammate Christina Nielsen in the TRG Aston Martin. I think her quickest race lap was 3 seconds quicker than mine! LOL...

It was a long day at the office, but we lost and learned a lot as a new team.
From here we will go testing to gain further experience with the GT-R GT3 package and hit the ground running at the next races. Leaving rounds 1 and 2, I'm grateful for this opportunity with Nissan and look forward to even better times to come.


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