Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: Nissan | posted May 26, 2014 08:08
After years on exposure on Super GT and GT3, Nissan will see what the GT-R can do in Le Mans.
Nissan is joining the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship and letting their top car do all the talking. For the first time ever, the Nissan GT-R will be fielded in Le Mans and the LM P1 car will be called the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO.
"Innovation is at the heart of everything we do," said Palmer. "There is no better place to demonstrate innovation than here in Europe's new hot-bed of digital marketing and, from next year, on track at Le Mans. We have chosen this venue – and made it a celebration, rather than yet another press conference – to reflect the fact that when we go racing, we do so differently," said Nissan's Chief Planning Officer and Executive Vice President Andy Palmer.
"LM P1 is not just an arms race. All our rivals in the class have taken different technical approaches, and we will be doing the same. We want to win in a very different way to that of our rivals. We won't be turning up in a vehicle, which is a basically another hybrid that looks like another Porsche, Audi or Toyota – they all look the same to me. Our intention is to do something that is a little bit different," added Palmer.
Aside from being the company’s flagship road car, the Nissan GT-R has had plenty of track time having been part of Super GT and GT3 and now the new Nissan GT-R LM NISMO gives Nissan the opportunity to return to Le Mans where the company has some unfinished business.
"The design and build of the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO is a global project with its DNA firmly rooted in Japan. The team comprises engineers and technical crew from Japan, the U.S. and Europe. We know that LM P1 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 with the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO," said NISMO President Shoichi Miyatani.
Wheels are now in motion to build the Nissan LM P1 car and to staff the entire team including the driver lineup. Full details about car and the entire team will be announced in time.
"Believe me, I think this is the car that will go down in the annals of time and be one of those cars which will be long remembered, not only for the fact that it will have won Le Mans, but also that it reset the real meaning of NISMO as a link between success on the track and success on the road," said Palmer.