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Nissan abandons FIA WEC LMP1 project

Tom Howard

Wednesday 23rd December, 2015 - 9:32am

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The bold Nissan GT-R LM Nismo LMP1 will sit out the 2016 FIA WEC season

The bold Nissan GT-R LM Nismo LMP1 will sit out the 2016 FIA WEC season

Nissan has withdrawn its troubled factory LMP1 effort from the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship.

The Japanese manufacturer released a statement confirming its revolutionary front engined, front wheel drive GT-R LM Nismos will sit out the campaign, with the marque choosing to focus its energy on other motor racing projects.

The move arrives shortly after the firm parted with the program’s architect Darren Cox.

Nissan’s return to top flight sportscars, with its bold Ben Bowlby designed LMP1, encountered several issues which forced the firm to delay its FIA WEC entry until the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours.

Hamstrung by issues with its hybrid system, Nissan struggled to match the pace of its LMP1 rivals at Le Mans with only one car reaching the race finish, albeit not a classified finisher.

The squad elected to sit out the remainder of the season to develop its GT-R LM Nismo which continued up until this month before a decision was made to shelve the project.

Nissan did however confirm it will proceed with its successful FIA WEC engine program.

“Today, Nissan announced that it will withdraw its LM P1 entry from the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship,” read a statement from Nissan.

“Nissan entered LM P1 in the 2015 season with an innovative new, and bold concept, with the ambition to compete at the front of the field.

“The teams worked diligently to bring the vehicles up to the desired performance levels. However, the company concluded that the program would not be able to reach its ambitions and decided to focus on developing its longer term racing strategies.

“Racing is a core part of the Nissan DNA, and the company has a proud history of innovating to win. Nissan’s commitment to motorsports remains strong, as evidenced by its victorious track record in the 2015 season – from achieving the overall winner of SUPER GT two years in a row in Japan, to winning the Blancpain Endurance Pro Class, Bathurst 12hr race with the GT-R GT3.

“Nissan will continue its support of WEC through its various engine programs including recent introduction of LM P3 engine.”

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