While the Nissan GT-R LM NISMOs are not on track this weekend, the Japanese manufacturer is still represented in Bahrain, with its new LMP1 Program Director Michael Carcamo (pictured above, left) getting his first taste of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Carcamo, along with other Nissan representatives, are on-site to help prepare for its comeback to the globe-trotting championship next year with its revised LMP1 contender.
“It’s my first WEC event,” Carcamo told Sportscar365. “We’ve been busy preparing the 2016 car so I want to take an opportunity for myself to meet the teams, be more involved with directly with the events.
“There was a technical working group meeting, so simply participating more now that I’ve got more background on the technical side of the team. It’s obviously very important to build relationships here.”
Carcamo, who was transferred from Nissan Mexico, assumed the team principal role from Ben Bowlby in September, which has seen the former Illmor trackside engineer take on the task of turning around the LMP1 program.
“It’s a big challenge,” he said. “My background with Nissan has been production cars. I’ve come out of 13 years with them in various roles, most recently in Mexico. I’ve been there for the last eight years.
“Before then, I was involved in racing, so it’s kind of a return back for me.”
While the car has completed a few test sessions at Circuit of The Americas since its ill-fated outing at Le Mans in interim spec, Carcamo said the 2016-spec GT-R LM NISMO will not run in its full configuration until early next year.
Carcamo would not be drawn to the type of hybrid system that will be outfitted in the front-engined, front-wheel drive car, although Sportscar365 understands it will be a similar battery-based system that’s been used by Renault in Formula One.
It’s understood the Indianapolis-based team recently took delivery of the system.
“We’re in development,” Carcamo said. “We’re working incredibly hard. We’ve got engineers in both Japan and Indianapolis working around the clock, basically. It’s going well. It’s on track to our intentions for next year.”
There are other changes likely on the horizon, with Carcamo confirming only a two-car effort at Le Mans in 2016, instead of the three GT-R LM NISMOs entered this year. Two cars are meanwhile committed for the full WEC season.
With Olivier Pla reportedly off to the new Ford GT program, there will be at least one change in the driver lineup, which Carcamo said will be announced early next year.
“We want to get back to what we started with this project, which is to simply bring an innovative vehicle to WEC and to be able to compete with other teams,” he said. “That’s always been the goal: to bring innovation and excitement.
“Obviously the fans have really shown a positive response to [us] trying something different.
“We ran into a lot of difficulties in proving that concept but the intention is to make that happen. I think people want to see that.”