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Nissan GT-R LM Nismo Won’t Return to FIA WEC LMP1 Racing in 2016

Published on

December 22, 2015
Nissan GT R LM NISMO At Le Mans 08

After a poor showing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans early in the 2015 season, Nissan hadalready pulled its front-wheel-drive GT-R LM Nismo racing car out of the remainder of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season. Now Nissan has confirmed that it also won’t return to the race series for 2016, either. The company said that the racing car simply wouldn’t meet Nissan’s performance goals.
“The teams worked diligently to bring the vehicles up to the desired performance levels,” Nissan said in a statement. “However, the company concluded that the program would not be able to reach its ambitions and decided to focus on developing its longer term racing strategies.”
At Le Mans, two of the three Nissan LMP1 cars failed to finish the race after technical issues plagued the cars. The Nissan GT-R LM Nismo uses a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine that’s mounted ahead of the driver, along with an electric hybrid system to boost performance. Nissan chose a front-wheel-drive layout to improve aerodynamics and energy efficiency, the company said, and equipped the racing car with a special traction-control system to counteract the layout’s inherent propensity for understeer.
Nissan GT R LM NISMO At Le Mans 11

The news of the cancellation isn’t a total surprise, given Nissan executives’ public disappointment over the racing car. In the summer, Nissan president and CEO Carlos Ghosn had said publicly that the program was under review.
“We made an attempt that did not prove fruitful. We must reassess the strategy…We wanted to be different and competitive but we’ve only been different,” Ghosn said in London.
Members of the Nissan Nismo racing team, however, remained optimistic even after the struggles at Le Mans.
“It hurts that we’re not faster, but we wouldn’t have built three cars if this was just a marketing effort,” Nismo head of brand, marketing, and sales, told AUTOMOBILE earlier this year.