Nissan to miss remaining 2015 WEC rounds

Development work on the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo continued at the Circuit of the Americas last week

Development work on the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo continued at the Circuit of the Americas last week

Nissan has confirmed it will sit out the remaining rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship as it continues to develop its GT-R LM Nismo for the 2016 campaign.

The Japanese marque has struggled on its return to top flight LMP1 sportscar racing with the innovative front engined, front wheel drive GT-R LM Nismo, which has been hit by several mechanical and reliability issues.

After a disappointing Le Mans 24 Hours debut that saw only one car reach the finish, Nissan has now confirmed it will return to competitive action in 2016, after announcing in August it would halt its WEC efforts to develop the car.

While its racing program has been put on ice, the testing program continues with Harry Tincknell and Oliveir Pla clocking valuable mileage at the Circuit of the Americas last week.

The team claims multiple changes to the LMP1 challenger produced a significant improvement in lap time and reliability, although the car continued to run without a KERS system.

As work continues to improve the GT-R LM Nismo, Nissan has altered the structure of the squad with Michael Carcamo from Nissan Mexico taking over the team principal role from Ben Bowlby.

Bowlby will now focus his efforts on heading up the technical side of the project.

“Ben had his hands full trying to do everything; managing the design and build but also the race and test operation,” explained Carcamo.

“That’s a lot to ask anyone to do, especially with a concept that requires this level of development. My knowledge of Nissan engineering processes and project planning experience will help Ben and the team concentrate on making the car deliver on it’s promise.

“The challenge that we took on was a monumental task.  We have to learn all of the dynamics of this new vehicle and all the performance tuning so it takes a long time to find the sweet spot of performance.

“We recognise that challenge and we’ve added the resources and infrastructure behind the programme to try and bring it to that next level.”

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