Japanese manufacturer to bring new LMP1 car to Le Mans endurance race next year to do battle with Audi, Porsche and Toyota

Nissan will return to the top-flight LMP1 class at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year to take on Audi, Porsche and Toyota.

The Japanese manufacturer will field two factory-backed LMP1 cars named the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo, in deference to the flagship Nissan GT-R road car. The project was confirmed in a press conference in central London today (Friday).

Nissan hasn't revealed full technical details of the new GT-R LM Nismo prototype, although it has promised that it: "won’t be turning up in a vehicle which is a basically another hybrid that looks like another Porsche, Audi or Toyota. Our intention is to do something that is a little bit different.”

Nissan has steadily increased its participation in motorsport in recent times through innovative programs, such as Nissan PlayStation GT Academy and the ACO’s Garage 56 initiative, where it will this year compete with the experimental Zeod hybrid that will run outside of the general classification.

The new GT-R LM Nismo – which will also compete in the full FIA World Endurance Championship next year – gives Nissan the opportunity to return to Le Mans where the company has never won.

“The design and build of the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo is a global project with its DNA firmly rooted in Japan,” said Nismo president Shoichi Miyatani.  “The team comprises engineers and technical crew from Japan, the US and Europe. We know that LMP1 competition is very tough, with serious manufacturer competition, but we are absolutely determined to make our cars competitive and to operate strongly against those competitors.

“We have chosen to take the GT-R name to Le Mans as the GT-R symbolizes the ultimate in Nissan’s performance. It is a true aspirational brand; a car our fans, our customers love to drive, and love to own. We have been using GT-R in motorsport for many years now, in Super GT and GT3. For us LM P1 is the ultimate test. We have unfinished business at Le Mans and now we have our chance to target victory.”

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Comments
3

23 May 2014
So if they're not bringing a hybrid, and therefore not in the LMP1-H class, they'll be competing for the occasional 4th or 5th place with Rebellion Racing from the LMP1-L class. As much as Mr Palmer might look down his nose at the competition his cars won't see which way the hybrids went. Don't get me wrong, it's great to see another works backed endurance team but he needs some lessons in trash talk.


23 May 2014
Bomb, Having listened to the presentation just now, I suspect he didn't mean the LMP1 car won't be a hybrid, but it will be different from 'just another hybrid', as in it might use some novel tech or look different. Either way, saying they intend to beat Porsche, Audi and Toyota is a fairly confident statement of intent. MB

23 May 2014
Matt Burt wrote:

I suspect he didn't mean the LMP1 car won't be a hybrid, but it will be different from 'just another hybrid

OK, wrong end of stick. Although the impression I got from the press release was that it wouldn't be hybrid. I think the current cars look like they do because of aero, styling a racing car does not always make a fast racing car. Yes, let's go with 'confident'..I'd agree he was definitely talking them up!


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