Two American GT Academy winners can further burnish their professional racing credentials this weekend at very different racetracks 4,000 miles apart – 2013 champ Nick McMillen in Le Mans, France and 2011 winner Bryan Heitkotter on the streets of Detroit, Michigan.
McMillen will take to Circuit de la Sarthe in France this Sunday to participate in the annual Le Mans test day. He will pilot a new Ginetta-Nissan LM P3 car in the test session at the 8.5- mile track as he aims to earn new driver certification to compete in future races at Le Mans.
McMillen, from Salem, Oregon, fully committed to becoming a race driver when he quit his job to leave for the GT Academy North American finals in the summer of 2013. Following a dramatic win there and again at the Silverstone Race Camp, he entered the NISMO driver development program, honing his abilities and obtaining his International racing license.
In January 2014, the GT Academy champion won his class at the 24 Hours of Dubai with an all-GT Academy team. Following the win in Dubai, McMillen secured a pair of podium finishes at Spa and Silverstone while driving a Nissan GT-R in the Blancpain Endurance Series, and he now pilots the #41 Doran Racing/GT Academy 370Z NISMO in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC) series.
"I was extremely excited when I received the news that I would get an opportunity to test an LM P3 car at Le Mans," said McMillen. "Having competed in motorsports professionally for just over a year now, it will be a surreal moment lapping an iconic circuit like Le Mans in this new car. I can't wait to see what's to come!"
McMillen will join Nissan GT-R NISMO LM P1 Le Mans first-time drivers Max Chilton, Alex Buncombe and Tsugio Matsuda for the May 31 test. The quartet of NISMO athletes are all set to earn their stripes in the Ginetta-Nissan LM P3, a brand new car that will not race at Le Mans this year and will only be used for driver qualification on test day.