Bentley's signing of Wolfgang Reip is 'approval' of gaming scheme

Reigning Blancpain Endurance Series champion Wolfgang Reip's signing by Bentley is the "final seal of approval" for Nissan's gamer-to-racer academy programme, according to the architect of the scheme

Bentley's signing of Wolfgang Reip is 'approval' of gaming scheme

Former Nissan global motorsport boss Darren Cox, who launched the academy with Playstation in 2007, told Autosport that the recruitment of the 2012 winner by Bentley after the Japanese manufacturer opted not to retain him validated the philosophy of the programme.

"One of the academy winners being picked up by another manufacturer must eradicate any doubts people might have had about the academy and what it has achieved," he said.

"M-Sport is one of the most professional teams in GT racing and it isn't doing it fun, so it is always going to chose the best drivers available."

"This is another box ticked for the academy or, if you like, the final seal of approval."

Reip spent three seasons on Nissan's books after winning the academy, during which time he claimed the BES title, won the 2015 Bathurst 12 Hours and raced at the Le Mans 24 Hours in the Japanese manufacturer's ZEOD RC experimental racer two years ago.

The 29-year-old will race a Bentley Continental GT3 in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup together with Andy Soucek and Maxime Soulet this year.

The launch of gaming or 'esports' series for fans by Formula E and MotoGP last week will reinforce the link between gaming and motorsport, according to Cox.

"Gaming is bringing new blood into motorsport and more eyeballs to its coverage, so it has to be good for our sport," he explained.

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Ex-Nissan driver Wolfgang Reip switches to Bentley for 2016

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