LONDON – Nissan will unleash the GT-R and go head-to-head with Audi, Porsche and Toyota at Le Mans in 2015 in an effort to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Japanese manufacturer will also contest the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship with a full factory effort of two LM P1 cars. Nissan’s LM P1 car will be called the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO, carrying on a sporting bloodline that stretches back 30 years and recognizes the company’s flagship road car, the Nissan GT-R.
Nissan’s LM P1 program was launched in the heart of Europe’s fastest-growing area of digital innovation in East London, close to Nissan’s new global digital hub. ACO President, Pierre Fillon joined Nissan’s Chief Planning Office & Executive Vice President Andy Palmer; NISMO President Shoichi Miyatani and NISMO Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales Darren Cox for the announcement at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, London.
“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.
“We applaud the ACO and FIA for the work they have done to get the rules right,” continued 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.”
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.
“Nissan is connecting in motorsport in many ways through its performance arm, NISMO,” said Cox. “In recent years we have taken a new approach to motorsport – not racing for racing’s sake – but carefully considering our reasons to engage with our global competition.”
The Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 now races all over the world, not least in Europe where it is driven by the NISMO Athletes, the winners of GT Academy. Nissan’s LM P2 engine is the standout P2 power plant in recent years and the company’s commitment to the ACO’s Garage 56 initiative demonstrates its love of a technical challenge. What Nissan learns on the track is fed through to its road cars to deliver technical innovation across the product range.