Nissan WEC

Nissan puts GT-R LM wacky racer on hold

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

After its disastrous Le Mans campaign Nissan has officially put the competition return of its GT-R LM Nismo on hold. The WEC returns in just over two weeks for the 6 Hours of Nürburgring (30 August).

Shoichi Miyatani, President of NISMO, explains: “We are racers and we want to compete but we also want to be competitive.

“That is why we have chosen to continue our test programme and prepare the GT-R LM NISMO for the strong competition we face in the World Endurance Championship.

“When you innovate you don’t give up at the first hurdle. We are committed to overcoming this challenge.”

Nissan says it will continue testing “predominantly but not exclusively in the United States” and will provide updates on its developments and the return to competition in due course.

Nissan’s full statement can be read below.

Nissan WEC

2015 LM24: Nissan wins award for optimism

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

Nissan turned up to Le Mans with three of its radical front-wheel drive GT-R LM Nismo machines. Only one finished. And it was 153 laps behind the winning Porsche, the last of the classified LMP1 runners. Only two LMP1 cars failed to finish the race and they were both Nissans. It was a tough day for the Nismo team.

Yet, a quick glance of the post-race headline from Nissan could leave you mistaken for who actually won the race.

“Mission accomplished at Le Mans for Nissan,” it boldly states!

Yeah, erm, sorry guys but we’re pretty sure your mission wasn’t to walk the tightrope between admiration for having a crack and outright embarrassment for being so under prepared, so far off the pace and just downright loopy.

In Nissan’s favour it was always going to be very tough for the GT-R LM to make its race debut in the spotlight of Le Mans. And there is a lot of good will out there for this project. But not a lot from Germany it would seem.

An unnamed spokesman from one of the two German teams labelled Nissan’s effort as “a disgrace”. Further, after confirming with Max Prince from Road & Track that his identity would remain secret he went in off the long run.

“What is their intention?” asked the secret German. “You can come here and do whatever you want, say whatever you want, but when the final minutes come, what will you show? That’s what racing is about.

“Is coming to race just a marketing tool? Just marketing? That’s what pisses me off. In the old days, the technical side was on top. Now, marketing is the top. The technical side is not as important.

“And if it is just marketing that Nissan is doing, then there is something wrong with the sport. If [the car] isn’t showing promise in simulations and testing, it will never fly. Never. They may be embarrassed, but they knew from the beginning, after the Sebring test. Stay home. Even if it’s totally different, it still has to work.”


He thinks the the GT-R LM is a turd. And maybe it is a turd, only time will tell. Right now, based on its lack of performance, which to be fair is mostly due to a lack of preparation, the GT-R LM is one massive turd. Well, three turds actually.

After the break you can read Nissan’s press material and see that, if nothing else, they win the “How to polish a turd” PR award for the week.

Nissan GT-R LM Nismo final placings

40th (-153 laps) #22 – Krumm (GER), Tincknell (GB), Buncombe (GB)
DNF #23 – Chilton (GB), Mardenborough (GB), Pla (FRA)
DNF #21 – Matsuda (JAP), Ordonez (ESP), Shulzhitskiy (RUS)

Audi Nissan Porsche Toyota WEC

2015 LM24: LMP1 gallery first 12 hours

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

The 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans is now into its second 12 hours and the #19 Porsche 919 Hybrid enjoys a reasonably comfortable lead (live timing).

Keeping the lead Porsche honest is a pair of Audi R18s, with the #17 Porsche 919 fighting to stay on the lead lap.

In the early stages of the race the #17 919 held the lead before dicing with the #7 R18. The red liveried Porsche suffered a minor setback after Mark Webber was given a one minute stop-go penalty for overtaking during a yellow flag.

Porsche also enjoyed seeing the #18 919 on the lead or fighting very hard for it, but it lost time after going off track at the Mulsanne Corner and is now 1–2 laps behind the leader, although still showing very strong overall pace.

The #9 Audi R18 has led this race as well and has the honour of setting a new outright lap record when Filipe Albuquerque lapped La Sarthe in 3:17.647. And thereby finally beating the old record set way back in 1971 by the Porsche 917 LH. Remember, too, that 1971 record was before the Mulsanne Straight had its two chicanes to help slow the cars down.

Going into the final 12 hours then, the first six cars remain a constantly revolving combination of Porsche 919s and Audi R18s. It will take a miracle for anyone other than Porsche or Audi to win this race; the closest Toyota is four laps off the pace.

Of course, we’d love to see the Mark Webber #17 car take the win, but the lads have some work to do after Mark’s mistake late in his first stint.

Nissan Video WEC

VIDEO: Why is the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo FWD?

Nissan GT-R LM Nismo

Yes, why is the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo front-wheel drive? That’s a very good question and Nissan attempts to justify its batshit crazy idea in this video…

Nissan WEC

2015 LM24: Nissan preview

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nissan preview

In one of the most unconventional and crazy ideas ever Nissan is rocking up to Le Mans this year with a front-wheel drive GT-R LM Nismo. And not just one either, there’ll be three of these wacky racers on track.

Yes, Nissan is deadly serious about its upfront approach to winning the world’s best known 24 hour race. And that’s even before you consider the PlayStation gamer turned professional racer recruitment drive.

The world needs people who make you stop and think WTF?! Thank you Nissan. Nothing would be cooler than seeing you guys turn the racing world on its head with victory at the LM24.

Alas, the form shown during the official test session last month shows the GT-R LM has a long way to go before we can expect it to match its more experienced competition.

Nissan GT-R LM Nismo

#23 – Max Chilton (GB), Jann Mardenborough (GB), Olivier Pla (FRA)
#22 – Michael Krumm (GER), Harry Tincknell (GB), Alex Buncombe (GB)
#21 – Tsugio Matsuda (JAP), Lucas Ordonez (ESP), Mark Shulzhitskiy (RUS)

Audi Nissan Porsche Toyota WEC

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans spotter guide

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans spotter guide

The 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans will be held this weekend and as always the talented Andy Blackmore has made his legendary spotter guide available as a free download.

[Source: spotterguides]

Audi Nissan Porsche Toyota WEC

2015 LM24: Quick reference guide to LMP1 cars

Porsche 919 hybrid

The official FIA WEC website brings us a quick reference guide to the class of 2015 LMP1 cars. This year we have representation from Audi, Nissan, Porsche and Toyota. And the best thing about LMP1 is that the cars are all different.

Front-engined, mid-engined; rear wheel drive, front wheel drive, all wheel drive; petrol, diesel and all with varying types of energy recovery systems. It really is a technological masterclass, which will eventually heavily influence the cars we drive on the roads.

In order to try and equalise performance the cars have strict fuel flow limitations they must adhere to. That is, each car has a capped amount of fuel it can use on a single lap, using the 13.6km Circuit de la Sarthe as the basis.

You can download a full season PDF guide (54mb) from the WEC website, which goes into greater detail. After the break a quick reference guide is all yours.

The 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans will take place on the weekend of 13–14 June, with an official test session to be held this Sunday.

[Source: FIA WEC]

Nissan WEC

Nissan postpones race debut of GT-R LM Nismo

2015 Nissan GT-R LM Nismo

Nissan has withdrawn its radical new GT-R LM Nismo from the opening two races of the WEC season in order to focus on its Le Mans challenge.

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.”

[Source: Autosport & WEC]

Nissan WEC

2015 Nissan GT-R LM Nismo revealed

2015 Nissan GT-R LM Nismo Nissan has just revealed information and photos for its 2015 LMP1 challenger, the GT-R LM Nismo. And if you think it looks a bit wacky just wait until you cop a load of the car’s specifications. The GT-R LM Nismo is a front-engined, front-wheel drive racer. Yes, really, it’s a front-wheel drive; a bum dragger! It has 14″ rubber on the front axle and 9″ on the rears. It is, quite literally, totally arse about compared with what we’re used to seeing in top line motorsport. Remaining relatively true to its GT-R badge the petrol engine is a twin-turbo 3.0 litre V6. Ben Bowlby, Nissan LMP1 Team Principal and Technical Director, is the man responsible for this madness, or perhaps outright brilliance, only time will tell. He explains himself by saying: “The Nissan GT-R LM NISMO is in automotive-speak a front-engined, front-wheel-drive car. The internal combustion engine drives the front wheels and the energy recovery system harvests energy from the front wheels. We’ve used the relatively low-powered internal combustion engine to drive the front wheels and then we add power from the ERS to augment acceleration. “The regulations have allowed us the freedom to create a significantly different looking car. Nissan are bold challengers who are prepared to innovate in order to get a high performance outcome so we’ve turned the whole concept of the conventional LMP1 car of 2014 on its head. The result is that our car looks different as the cockpit has been moved significantly rearwards to accommodate the engine at the front of the car.” Former F1 driver an winner of the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans Marc Gene has been named as the driver who will lead the charge in the GT-R LM Nismo. He’ll be taking part in the full 2015 WEC calendar and has realistic hopes for the year ahead and is hopeful of a good showing at Le Mans. “This season we should just focus on learning about and improving the car every time we head out onto the track,” Gene explained. “Making it to the finish would already be an achievement on it’s own. I hope we can show that the car is competitive, especially at Le Mans. “I like the aggressive look of the car, which is a consequence of a well-thought and different design, not seen before at Le Mans. From the very first laps I felt very comfortable. I could feel the very powerful engine and high efficiency of the aerodynamics.” This is one wacky racer that will be fun to watch in 2015!