Speaking to Autosport Darren Cox, Nissan motorsport boss, said: “Our main aim for this year was always Le Mans and we have decided to re-focus on that race.
“It’s no secret that with such a different car that we have faced a number of challenges, so right now we would rather be testing in April and May rather than racing.”
That means Nissan’s front-wheel drive focused LMP1 racecar will be absent from the 6 Hours of Silverstone and the 6 Hours of Spa and won’t make its track debut until the 24 Hours of Le Mans in mid-June.
The GT-R LM Nismo ran into problems with its engine mounts during its last test session, held at Sebring. There are also suggestions the car has failed its crash test. The required modifications would not leave enough time for the homologation process to take place before the Silverstone race.
Nissan will also miss the official season prologue at Paul Ricard (27–28 March).
World Endurance Championship CEO Gérard Neveu said: “Nissan is not the first manufacturer to miss the start of the season and they won’t be the last: Toyota previously did the same and they are now our world champions.
“To build an LMP1 hybrid programme is very challenging; it takes some time and we fully trust Nissan to be on the LMP1 grid of the WEC from Le Mans.”