Motorsport

Nissan Is Learning The Harsh Lessons Of Its GT-R LM Nismo Failure

There's a difference between losing and not even finishing a race.

Let’s just say things didn’t go as planned for Nissan at Le Mans last month. As you recall, last February it revealed its GT-R LM Nismo, a front-engined, front-wheel-drive LMP1 endurance racer designed specifically for Le Mans. Nissan knew from the get-go the car’s front-engined/FWD setup was unusual, to say the least. But it wanted, in the words of Nissan-Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, "to be different and competitive." By the time Le Mans came to an end, Nissan had "only been different."

That’s because of the three GT-R LM Nismo cars that competed, only one managed to finish - in 40th position. In fact, it only completed 70 percent of the race distance required to be declared a finisher. The other two cars retired from the race early. Speaking at a press conference last month, Ghosn stated that "Nissan has always been associated with innovation. We made an attempt that did not prove fruitful. We must reassess the strategy." A Nissan source told Sportscar365 that, as of now, the LMP1 team is still preparing a revised car for a test at the Circuit of Americas next weekend. Nissan executives will soon decide whether to pull the plug on the project as a whole.

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