Muscle Milk Pickett Racing has said goodbye to Honda and hello to Nissan. For its new entry in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the team will utilize engines from Nissan and tap Nismo factory resources to compete in Rolex 24 at Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.
This new partnership marks a big leap forward for Nissan’s motorsports activities in the United States. Although Nissan dominated U.S. sports car racing from 1988 to 1991 – winning four consecutive driver’s championships, three manufacturer’s titles and 33 IMSA races – the automaker stopped competing more than 20 years ago when times were financially tough.
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing ORECA 3Invigorated by strong consumer sales and a desire to compete, Nissan will also be introducing its own drivers to help pilot the team’s ORECA 3 racecar. This includes Nissan P2 World Endurance Championship regular Alex Brundle, who will join the team for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The international roster of drivers also includes Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s Klaus Lucas and Graf Luhr. The latter is no stranger to Nissan colors – winning the GT1 World Championship aboard a Nissan GT-R with Michael Krumm in 2011.
“Muscle Milk has a tremendous record in American sports car racing so to have the chance to join such a prestigious American team is excellent. I’m looking forward to making the most of it,” said Brundle. “Klaus and Lucas have driven in the American series for a quite a while now so I can learn quickly from them. I am looking forward to the challenge.
Before the Rolex 24, the Nissan-powered Muscle Milk Pickett Racing ORECA 03 is slated to hit the track for the first time this weekend in the Roar? , a sort of pre-season warm-up prior to the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Nissan Motorsport Director Darren Cox is eager for the new challenges racing in this series and believes Nissan will quickly make its mark.
“We’re glad to welcome Muscle Milk Pickett Racing to the Nissan family and look forward to having our official drivers learn from such a successful team,” said Cox. “We are also very proud to have brought Nissan back to the forefront of U.S. sports car racing. Our company has an incredible pedigree dating back to the old IMSA championship and I’m certain Nissan and NISMO will add to that history in the coming years.