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GP Week : Issue 119
FEATURE >> nutrition always comes back to a bit of planning.” The GT-R is predictably outrageous when the loud pedal is pressed. Its paddle -shift gears and g-force display goad me to misbehave, but this isn’t a race track and we must stay in convoy. Once at Luton Airport, it’s time to pick up a video-gaming VIP. Lucas Ordonez is the first racing driver to have gone from virtual to reality. In 2008 the Spaniard beat 25,000 PlayStation gamers on Gran Turismo to win the GT Academy, earning an actual race drive in the Dubai 24 Hours. Now the 26-year-old is about to achieve his ultimate ambition, to race an LMP2 car in the Le Mans 24 Hours this week! Lucas takes over GT-R duties when we arrive in London, threading the car through late night traffic. We anchor the motorhome in Bayswater and wait for him to record his three-hour stint. It is 4.30am. I’ve just been shaken awake and handed an energy drink, a banana and a granola bar. I’m in the top bunk of the Winnebago and, peering through the Venetian blinds I can just about make out a rocky outcrop, which is Stonehenge. When I’d nodded off several hours ago we were in still London. From the bright lights of Piccadilly Circus to this ancient druid temple cloaked in darkness, it feels like we’ve traveled in time. I’m due for my next stint and slide back into the GT-R, rubbing my eyes just as a Le Mans driver would when saddled with the dawn shift. At 60mph and without rival cars bearing down on me, it’s not too much of a strain in comparison to what Lucas is soon to experience. But our diet today is helping to make this British tour a breeze. And getting used to these sleep patterns is a useful part of Lucas’ training. By noon, having taken a loop back to London and then up the M40 to Silverstone, our circuit is complete. Neither the GT-R nor the drivers broke a sweat. Co- driving with Lucas was a pleasure, but for the real thing – 3000 miles at 200mph – I’ll be leaving it to the pros. Unless I can get really good at Gran Turismo. 33