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Nissan today revealed plans to return to LMP1 in 2015, the Japanese manufacturer has long been rumoured to be joining the World Endurance Championship as a full factory LMP1 prototype effort.

The designation given to the car is Nissan GT-R LM NISMO, reflecting the name of Nissan’s flagship GT-R road car.
The current Nissan GT-R currently has racing variants in the Japanese GT500 SuperGT championship, as well as the Nissan GT-R GT3 competing in championships internationally.

With the news of Nissan’s announcement for 2015, this places the LMP1 factory manufacturers at four for 2015, with Porsche, Audi and Toyota fielding factory efforts. Nissan currently provides P2 engines globally.

Drivers for Nissan’s LMP1 programme are yet to be announced; however the company has confirmed two prototypes.
Technical details related to the hybrid system of choice additionally are yet to be confirmed. However in my opinion today’s news is certainly exciting for the future of global sportscar racing in the World Endurance Championship.

Nissan have also produced this years Garage 56 project, named the Nissan ZEOD RC, Which has been designed by Ben Bowlby for use in next months Le Mans 24 Hours.

Quotes from Nissan –
“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.”

“The design and build of the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO is a global project with its DNA firmly rooted in Japan,” explained Miyatani. “The team comprises engineers and technical crew from Japan, the US 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.”

“You don’t go to Le Mans to just turn up,” said Palmer. “The brief to the team is to go with something different, go with something that brings new technology which is transferable to the road car technology and an approach that is innovative and exciting and of course, go to win.

  • rapierman

    Just out of curiosity, how many teams would it take to make a class viable?

    • Tom Firth

      The short answer, right now, viability is fine with 3 manufacturers fighting for the title, That’s 6/7 factory LMP1 cars and two more In the future, plus two privateer LMP1 cars. For now things are looking very positive.

      Right now the long answer :

      From a P1 standpoint, It’s complicated, Right now in 2014 it is viable because the manufacturers are in the class and more are coming or rumoured to be. Manufacturer supported teams are the backbone of the WEC’s LMP1 class. The problem is it’s rather short term viability, with the LMP1 cars becoming prohibitively expensive to privateers to be competitive for outright victory. Once the manufacturers leave, which eventually will happen as it’s the way manufacturers go racing generally, the viability will fall, whenever that occurs, it could be several years, but it will be catastrophic to the future of the WEC.

      The ACO-FIA have tried to balance this with the new regulations, with P1 effectively split into two regulations sets, LMP1-H and LMP1-L. A manufacturer entrant has to use LMP1-H which includes hybrid systems, LMP1-L doesn’t have the hybrid drives as compulsory. Are other breaks and regulation changes for LMP1-L too. However until now the only team to build cars as a privateer constructor is Rebellion Racing, whether or not others come is to be determined.

      Overall, if over the four classes currently, LMP1 (manufacturer driven) , LMP2 (Privateer driven) , GTE Pro and GTE AM equate to around 31 cars full season, the series is viable. Once more garages are built at Circuit De La Sarthe for the 24 hours of Le Mans, More full season entrants into WEC is made easier.

  • The4kbeast

    Toyota vs Nissan; the classic JDM rivalry.

    • Tom Firth

      Indeed, Just need Honda back now :)

      • nofahz

        I’ve heard rumors they might be interested but I’ll believe it when I see it. Mazda and/or Ferrari would be awesome in lmp1. I don’t think the prancing horse has the level of engineering to be successful even if they had the commitment to re-enter prototypes

        • Tom Firth

          Yeah I’ve heard the rumours too, it would but very good for them to do so. We have had the HPD-Acura ARX programme from Honda America down the years with privateer entrants in WEC, ALMS etc in P1 and P2. With a new P2 ARX is due although a fully fledged factory entry from Japan would be immense from Honda.

  • Rohan Deelen

    I’m so curious to know what the new car will look like. They say it won’t look like the current crop of LMP1HY cars.

  • Cf

    I’m looking to seeing this Monster of a LMP1 car. Could it stand its ground?, from the mear might of the Toyotas, the Porsches and the big guys of Audi. I think this will be a fight to the end of the 2015 season.

    Then there is a idea for having 2 Nissan GTR Nismos to compete in the GT Pro class to fight with the Ferrari, Porsches, Corvettes and the Astons.

    How’s that for a idea

    • Tom Firth

      Not going to happen I’m afraid, Nissan do not have a GTE specification Nissan GTR and appear to have no intentions on building one, instead focusing on the LMP1 for the WEC.

  • Cf

    Here is the 2015 list in my view:

    LMP1

    Audi Sport Team Joest No: 1, 2, 3 E-Tron Quattro 2014
    Toyota No: 7, 8 TS040 Hybrid
    Nissan No: 6, 9 GTR LM
    Rebellion No: 12, 13 Rebellion R One
    Porsche No: 20, 15 919 Hybrid
    Lotus No: 31, 32 CLM P1/01

    LMP2

    G Drive No: 26 Ligier JS P2
    SMP Racing No: 27, 37 Oreca 03R
    Strakka Racing No: 21 Dome Strakka S103
    KCMG No: 47 Oreca 03R
    Extreme Speed Motorsports No: 30, 31 HPD ARX-03b

    LMP3

    Chip Ganassi Racing No: 24, 34 Ginetta-Juno LMP3
    Mazda SpeedSource Racing No: 60, 70 Lola B08/80
    Brabham Racing No; 10, 11 Ginetta-Juno LMP3
    Nissan LM3 Academy No: 36, 39 Ginetta-Juno LMP3
    CORE Autosport No: 54 Ginetta-Juno LMP3
    Starworks Motorsport No: 53 Ginetta-Juno LMP3

    GT Pro

    Aston Martin Racing No 96, 97, 99 Aston Martin Vantage GTE
    AF Corse No: 51, 71 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2
    Nissan GT Academy No; 16, 19 Nissan GT-R GT2
    Porsche Team Manthey No 91, 92 Porsche 911 RSR
    BMW Motorsport No: 55, 56 BMW Z4 GTE
    Audi Sport Team Joest No: 42, 43 Audi R8 LMS
    Corvette Racing No: 73, 74 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R
    SRT Motorsports No: 92, 94 Dodge Viper GTS-R

    GT Am

    Aston Martin Racing No: 95, 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE
    AF Corse No: 61, 81 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2
    Flying Lizard Motorsports No: 44, 45 Audi R8 LMS
    TRG-AMR North America No: 87, 89 Aston Martin Vantage GTE
    8 Star Motorsports No: 90 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2
    Larbre Compétition No: 50, 59 Audi R8 LMS
    Prospeed Competition No: 75 Porsche 911 RSR
    BMW Motorsport No: 16, 18 BMW Z4 GTE
    Proton Competition No: 88 Porsche 911 RSR

    • Cf

      Forgot maybe McLaren 650 in Gt pro

      GT Pro

      Aston Martin Racing No 96, 97, 99 Aston Martin Vantage GTE
      AF Corse No: 51, 71 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2
      Nissan GT Academy No; 16, 19 Nissan GT-R GT2
      Porsche Team Manthey No 91, 92 Porsche 911 RSR
      ART Grand Prix No: 89, 79 McLaren 650S GT2
      BMW Motorsport No: 55, 56 BMW Z4 GTE
      Audi Sport Team Joest No: 42, 43 Audi R8 LMS
      Corvette Racing No: 73, 74 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R
      SRT Motorsports No: 92, 94 Dodge Viper GTS-R

      GT Am

      Aston Martin Racing No: 95, 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE
      AF Corse No: 61, 81 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2
      Flying Lizard Motorsports No: 44, 45 Audi R8 LMS
      TRG-AMR North America No: 87, 89 Aston Martin Vantage GTE
      8 Star Motorsports No: 90 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2
      Larbre Compétition No: 50, 59 Audi R8 LMS
      Prospeed Competition No: 75 Porsche 911 RSR
      BMW Motorsport No: 16, 18 BMW Z4 GTE
      Proton Competition No: 88 Porsche 911 RSR

      Reply

      • cf

        69 instead of 89 on the McLaren

      • Tom Firth

        Slightly confused as to your list, is this your dream list ?

        • Cf

          Got very confused, sorry about that

        • Cf

          Got so confused, what a mistake Sorry about that

  • JFK

    I’m so looking forward to seeing Godzilla racing in the WEC. Racing against the Audis, Porsches and the might MUTOs of the Toyotas

    Here is the 2015 list in my view:
    LMP1

    Audi Sport Team Joest No: 1, 2, 3 E-Tron Quattro 2014
    Toyota No: 7, 8 TS040 Hybrid
    Nissan No: 6, 9 GTR LM Nismo
    Rebellion No: 12, 13 Rebellion R One
    Porsche No: 20, 15 919 Hybrid
    Lotus No: 31, 32 CLM P1/01
    Cars: 13

    LMP2

    G Drive No: 26 Ligier JS P2
    SMP Racing No: 27, 37 Oreca 03R
    Strakka Racing No: 21 Dome Strakka S103
    KCMG No: 47 Oreca 03R
    Cars: 5

    GT Pro

    Aston Martin Racing No 97, 99 Aston Martin Vantage GTE
    Mercedes AMG PETRONAS No: 83, 28 Mercedes SLS AMG GT3
    AF Corse No: 51, 71 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2
    Nissan GT Academy Team RJN No; 16, 19 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3
    Porsche Team Manthey No 91, 92 Porsche 911 RSR
    ART Grand Prix No: 49, 89 McLaren 650S GT3
    BMW Motorsport No: 54, 55, 56 BMW Z4 GTE
    Audi Sport Team Joest No: 4, 5 Audi R8 LMS 2014
    Cars: 17

    GT Am

    Aston Martin Racing No: 95, 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE
    AF Corse No: 61, 81 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2
    8 Star Motorsports No: 90 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2
    ART Grand Prix No: 59, 69 McLaren MP4-12C GT3
    Prospeed Competition No: 75 Porsche 911 RSR
    SMP Racing No: 72, 73 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2
    Proton Competition No: 88 Porsche 911 RSR
    Cars: 11

    Hope this is a good list

    Hope you like it

    • Cf

      I like it, Well thought, Better than mine.

      • Tom Firth

        Hey, no both of you guys wrote good lists. The issue isn’t with the lists,your welcome to post them :)

        Just sadly because of the frankly stupid politics that surrounds Le Mans, half of those cars can not race in the GT class in WEC, so we can’t have the Mclaren, Mercedes , Nissan, Audi R8 LMS , because are GT3 or even more bizarrely, the BMW Z4 GTE.

        Instead the ACO decided that we only have GTE/GT2 cars at Le Mans, so we have Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche , Corvettes , Vipers and a non legal outside of TUSCC BMW.

        If the ACO and SRO would get off high horses and stop arguing like children, we could have such a stronger GT field in terms of different cars at Le Mans, but no, they tried to get round a table and failed miserably.

  • Buster Brown

    Little birdie say that the Nissan LMP1 is in Sebring on 8th December.

    So since its already going to be in Florida it could test its skills in the Tudor United Sportcar Championship’s famous Daytona 24 Hours (2nd best 24h behind Le Mans) and the 12 Hours of Sebring along with the 2 Rebellion R Ones (Love to see them back in American racing), the 2 Porsches 919 Hybrids and the 1 Lotus CLM P1/01 to join the Prototype field.
    Also add 2 Nissan GTR Nismo GT3 from the GT Academy Team RJN to join the GT Daytona Class.

    P
    Nissan GTR LM Nismo No: 6
    Rebellion R One No: 12, 13
    Porsche 919 Hybrid: 919, 920
    Lotus CLM P1/01 No: 52

    GT Day
    Nissan GTR Nismo GT3 No: 16, 19

    Could these LMP1 cars join the prototype field and get to Daytona?

  • Tom Firth

    Sorry mate, sadly LMP1 is not allowed in Tudor United Sportscar Championship, so no LMP1 cars :( The Nissan GTR GT3 could in theory make the Daytona 24 though (almost in GT3 spec)

    Nissan’s test and launch is early December indeed it would appear.