Nissan has announced its temporary withdrawal from the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The decision comes after a disappointing performance by the Japanese manufacturer at the Le Mans 24-hour race in June. During the race, the hybrid systems of the team’s three GT-R LM cars had to be deactivated due to persistent problems, and the single car that did reach the chequered flag was disqualified, as a result of spending more than one-third of the race in the garage.
“We know people will be disappointed but be assured that nobody is more disappointed than us,” NISMO President Shoichi Miyatani stated in an official release. “When you innovate you don’t give up at the first hurdle. We are committed to overcoming this challenge.”
Publicly debuted in February this year, the GT-R LM NISMO was a greatly anticipated entrant into the LMP1 field. Not only was it Nissan’s first car in the Championship for 15 years, but it featured some more distinctive technology and styling to its rivals from the likes of Audi, Toyota and Porsche.
For a start, the GT-R LM NISMO’s aerodynamic properties mean the car is front-wheel drive, unlike all its rivals. Nissan also makes use of four powertrains as opposed to the regular three. Unique features like these led Nissan to design a car that was not just different from the others mechanically, but also visually stood out.
Nissan will continue its testing of the LMP1 car for now, predominantly in the United States. We anticipate an announcement on a return date will come in the future, according to progress made on improving the car.
Only the LMP1 programme will be affected – Nissan’s other motorsport activities, such as its participation in Super GT and the pioneering GT Academy, are to continue as usual.
Find out about the fastest Nurburgring lap times by production cars…