Nissan Delays LMP1 Race Return with GT-R LM NISMO

Photo: Nissan

Photo: Nissan

The Nissan GT-R LM NISMO has been withdrawn from active racing competition in the FIA World Endurance Championship until further notice, Nissan announced Friday.

Citing what it deemed multiple technical issues, including running without its hybrid Energy Recovery System (ERS) at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nissan will withdraw from the Six Hours of Nürburgring, and has not indicated a race when it will return to action in the FIA WEC.

It will instead continue its testing program, predominately but not exclusively in the United States.

“We know people will be disappointed but be assured that nobody is more disappointed than us,” said Shoichi Miyatani, President of NISMO.

“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.”

An updated version of the car completed a two-day test at Circuit of The Americas last month with Olivier Pla and Harry Tincknell at the wheel. It’s understood the car continued to struggle pace-wise at the test.

As previously revealed by Sportscar365, the future of the Nissan program had been under review, following a high-level executive meeting in Japan last month.

Added Darren Cox, Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales, NISMO, “We’ve built an LMP1 car that is very different to other racing cars as we continue to drive motorsport innovation.

“The beauty of this program is that people have got behind us and they are willing us to succeed.

“This has shown us once again that people want something different in motorsport and that gives us increased motivation to make our LMP1 car competitive.”

40 Comments

  1. Jessie

    August 7, 2015 at 10:31 am

    No surprise Will not see them again, not with this car

    • Ernie2492

      August 7, 2015 at 10:41 am

      But with GT-R LM Nismo mid-engine layout/ GT-R GTE instead..xD

      • 7D3

        August 7, 2015 at 1:01 pm

        I think I can see the Nissan GTR Nismo in the GTE Pro class in 2017.

        • Scott Pruett

          August 15, 2015 at 2:53 pm

          No way 2017, 2018 possibly but we’d have to see some rumors soon.

    • AudiTT

      August 7, 2015 at 11:33 am

      The car should be perfectly competitive once developed. It’s missing it’s hybrid system which robs it of 400bhp & 4wd.

      Once up and running the only major technical difference will be the front engine location. A difference that isn’t a hurdle in this era of front-mid engined cars.

      • Dan

        August 7, 2015 at 11:40 am

        Even with the extra power, I believe there are major balance issues with the car. It can’t handle curbs and the front end lifts off the ground too much.

        • Bakkster

          August 7, 2015 at 4:17 pm

          According to their testing at CotA, they no longer struggle on kerbs. Or at least not to the extent they get the rear tires bouncing if they touch them.

      • Bailfield

        August 7, 2015 at 1:47 pm

        What part of its a failure do you not understand

      • mrtorgue

        August 7, 2015 at 2:19 pm

        I too believe they can still improve a lot. The extra power would be a nice bonus but the actual drive to the rear wheels is way more important I think. They were already very fast in a straight line but had no rotation under acceleration. once they figure out the epicyclic transmission we can see if this is a failure or not.

    • 7D3

      August 7, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      I agree, If they go to rear wheel drive like Toyota they will be fighting for wins.

    • Jayson

      August 10, 2015 at 5:15 pm

      The article is overly bleek.. They will be back for the last two races of the WEC season. Didn’t make much sense to race and have the negative PR could continue..Better to test and fix the issues they have identified..

  2. Scott

    August 7, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Oh well, at least I got to see the car in person once…

    • mrtorgue

      August 7, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      meh.. I was hoping to see them at the ring later this month.

  3. Dill pickles

    August 7, 2015 at 10:36 am

    That’s that then.

    Great idea.

    Terrible execution.

    Good luck in other ventures NISMO

  4. Tucker

    August 7, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Perhaps, instead of listening to their PR flacks, they should have done many more miles and hours of testing. I don’t think I have ever heard of such an elaborate LMP1 car with so little testing. Even the original Audi R8, a simple race car, was tested at race tracks around the world.

  5. Ernie2492

    August 7, 2015 at 10:58 am

    That high downforce aero looks good.

  6. bucephalus

    August 7, 2015 at 11:11 am

    No one ever got better at racing by not racing. Give credit to CLM, letting everyone see how terrible their car is and actually making gains by racing it. Rather than ashamedly hiding away like nissan.

  7. jess

    August 7, 2015 at 11:14 am

    The car was brought out and entered in a race at least 12-15 months to early. Whatever PR advantage they had hoped to gain has been lost 10 times over.

    • N8

      August 7, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      Agreed. This program launched with a freakin’ Super Bowl ad and a Darren Cox hype tour they set some lofty expectations. The result as it stands today can only be considered a worst case scenario from a marketing perspective.

      The general topic of the article is confusing though. Cox says their backers are “willing us to succeed”, but there’s doubt whether or not the car will return to racing? Which is it?

  8. Ozzeh

    August 7, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    What a laughable program this has been

  9. Eric

    August 7, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Kill the ugly thing. KILL IT WITH FIRE!!1!

    • that stupid guy

      September 24, 2015 at 1:23 am

      shut up and just watch give their program a couple of years and they will be able to compete and don’t forget they were racing without their hybrid system against cars that had it and it takes years of tuning in order to get the perfect car. Plus remember this is the first time they race in the top class since 1999 and I don’t think the car is ugly its a new design because lately all LMP1 cars have been almost the same thing

  10. Jason

    August 7, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    List of failed or currently failing cars:

    Mercedes SLR
    Audi R8C
    AMR-ONE
    Mazda Skyactiv Diesel
    Delta Wing
    Jaguar GT (Gentalozzi’s team in ALMS)
    Nissan GTR LM

    • Ernie2492

      August 7, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      SLR or CLR..?

    • Bean

      August 8, 2015 at 6:04 am

      Delta Wing same designer

    • Helmut

      August 8, 2015 at 7:32 am

      To add a few more:

      Lister Storm LMP
      Panoz GTR-1 Q9 Hybrid
      Panoz LMP07

      The Cadillac LMP program wasn’t really a success either, but on some of the tracks they showed their potential at least.

    • Mike

      August 8, 2015 at 11:59 am

      Robertson Racing- Ford GT40 ALMS
      AJR- Lotus Evora ALMS.

      • Cadillac Deville

        August 11, 2015 at 8:25 pm

        The Robertson’s took that car and got a podium at Le Mans.

        • Jareth Belanger

          October 1, 2015 at 8:35 am

          Also the GT did pretty well in FIA GT1/GT3. One privateer teams a failure does not make.

    • Keen

      August 12, 2015 at 3:02 am

      The Audi was British project

      • john

        August 12, 2015 at 3:04 am

        All these failures mentioned above had British and/or American involment

    • that stupid guy

      September 24, 2015 at 1:28 am

      you might want to add the corvette LMP1 car as well because its a possibility it might come to to Le Mans 2016 and it will also be a front engine front wheel drive as well copy and paste this link http://gtspirit.com/125053/gallery/15565/227187/

  11. Jon

    August 7, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Successful racing programmes are run by experienced racing people like Dr Ulrich,Norbert Haug or Norbert Singer.Not PR men like Darren Cox.One look at that layout would tell you it was to risky unless you have a massive amount of money and time.

  12. Ernie2492

    August 7, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Do you want to be competitive.?
    Make a mid-engine layout as the backup plan.

    • Slow

      August 8, 2015 at 1:53 am

      It is mid-engine….. Or are you one of the many that don’t actually know the definition of that word?

      Engine behind front axle = a mid engine layout. The engine just happens to be ahead of the driver still. A front engine layout has some portion of the engine hanging over the front axle/spindle.

      • Ernie2492

        August 8, 2015 at 2:38 am

        Sorry, I meant MR/4 layout

  13. marco

    August 8, 2015 at 8:31 am

    innovation? Front engine is innovation?!

  14. Raphael

    August 8, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    i am not surprised. the car performed so terrible, it doesn’t have the right to be called a GTR.

  15. RedR

    August 9, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Failure! Star over Nissan… Mid engine… Larger rear tire setup…All wheel drive…

  16. JaymondoGB

    August 12, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Nissan lost it bottle. As already stated, doubt if we will ever see this car again. I guess Jay Leno can buy one of the three for his collection.

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