Image credit: Nissan Press
Florian Strauss will replace Alex Buncombe in the NISMO Athlete Global Team at the 2015 Bathurst 12 Hour.
Buncombe had been confirmed to drive the #35 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, alongside fellow NISMO Athletes Katsumasa Chiyo and Wolfgang Reip.
The birth of Buncombe’s first child was originally anticipated last week. But with ‘Baby Buncombe’ having other ideas and now expected to arrive this week, Buncombe will miss the Bathurst 12 Hour to be with Gemma and their newborn.
“It turns out that Baby Buncombe isn’t as fast as his or her Dad!” said Darren Cox, NISMO’s Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales.
The late call-up for Strauss comes after he was one of the most impressive drivers in the field at the 2015 Dubai 24 Hours last month. The 2013 GT Academy Germany winner was entrusted with duties as the ‘pro’ driver in the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN entry despite holding a racing licence for just 18 months.
“I remember arriving home from the UK after completing the Nissan Driver Development Programme this time last year,” said Strauss. “One of the first things I did was watch the livestream from Bathurst and think how cool it would be if one day I could race at such a special place. I think that explains how thrilled I am with this opportunity!
“I’ve never been to Australia so I’m really looking forward to experiencing a new country and meeting lots of new people.”
Leading the way for his four 2014 GT Academy winner team-mates – all competing in their first event – Strauss drove a superb race that saw the #23 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 finish fifth overall and second in GT3 Pro-Am category in a world class GT3 sportscar field.
Driving alongside Buncombe in the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series, Strauss raced with distinction at daunting circuits such as Spa Franchorchamps for the Spa 24 Hours and the Nürburgring Nordschliefe for the Nürburgring 24 Hours.