Bryan Heitkotter and James Davison look to continue the strong and steady progress of the Always Evolving NISMO GT Academy Nissan GT-Rs when the two-car team takes to the streets of Long Beach, California for round five of the Pirelli World Challenge in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday April 19.
The first-year team is coming into their own after a strong four-race run, and the drivers are getting comfortable piloting the Nissan GT-R. They both have shown moments of brilliance early on. Davison has racked up a fourth place qualifying run and two sixth place finishes in GT class, while teammate and GT Academy 2011 Champ Bryan Heitkotter has been the fastest qualifier in the GTA category on both weekends so far.
The 1.97-mile, 11-turn Long Beach street course suits itself to the GT-R, and both drivers look forward to the opportunity to show fans and competitors what the car is capable of.
"When I was growing up, the Grand Prix of Long Beach was one of my favorite races on TV," said Heitkotter, a 34-year old native of Fresno, Calif. "I loved watching the likes of Al Unser Jr. and Danny Sullivan duking it out on the streets of my home state. Now the layout of the circuit has changed in a few places, but most of it remains the same. It's incredible that I have the opportunity this year to drive those famous streets at speed myself now."
Heitkotter ran well at the most recent round, a street course in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he made it up to second place in class before his GT-R was turned into a barrier, causing heavy damage. Now the car is repaired and the GT Academy Champ is ready to rumble at Long Beach.
"The AIM Autosport guys along with (British car constructor) JRM deserve massive kudos for rebuilding the #05 GT-R in the short time since we raced at St. Petersburg," said Heitkotter. "That was my first street circuit and I expect Long Beach to feel similar overall. I expect the GT-R will thrive on the long acceleration zones."
The one hour race gets underway this Sunday at 4:30 p.m. local (Pacific) time (7:30 p.m. Eastern). The one hour race will be streamed live online at http://www.world-challengetv.com.The race televised on CBS Sports Network Sunday, April 26, 3:30 PM Eastern. Times and dates are subject to change.