Nissan will delay its return to the LM P1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship and instead focus on technical issues that challenged its race team during the Le Mans 24 Hours in June. Issues with the kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) meant that the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO (earlier post) had to run at the Le Mans 24 Hours on engine power alone. The next race for the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO would have been the 6 Hours of Nürburgring, round four of the FIA World Endurance Championship, on 30 August.
The Nissan GT-R LM NISMO represents an innovative interpretation of the sport’s technical regulations: a front-engined, front-wheel-drive car that powered by a V6 3.0-liter twin turbo gasoline engine and a mechanical flywheel Energy Recovery System (ERS) that runs in the 2MJ class.
The front tires are wider than those in the rear (14" vs 9") due to the way that mass is distributed in the car. Nissan moved the weight bias forwards to provide traction for the front-engined, front-wheel drive. The aero is also moved forward; hence, Nissan moved the capacity of the tires forward to match the weight distribution.
Unlike other LM P1 cars, the GT-R’s V6 3.0-liter twin turbo gasoline engine sits in the front of the front-wheel-drive car, while the hybrid power is harvested from the front driveline to augment acceleration. The cockpit has been moved significantly rearwards to accommodate the engine at the front of the car. The ERS is housed ahead and beneath the driver’s feet in a self-contained module.
Audi also uses a flywheel-based kinetic energy recovery system (KERS), but while that company uses an electrical linkage, Nissan went with a mechanical system, said Nissan’s LM P1 Technical Director, Ben Bowlby.
In earlier tests on the dyno, Nissan comfortably produced 1100bhp from an 8MJ KERS system alone. Combining with the internal combustion engine, the powertrain has the potential for a little over 1600bhp. However, due to the challenging development timeframe—less than a year to form the team and design, engineer and develop the car from scratch—Nissan scaled things back with the hybrid system for this year’s Le Mans, Bowlby said.
The bespoke Nissan V6 3-liter twin turbo gasoline engine and the unique aerodynamics of the GT-R LM NISMO proved to be the main strengths of the car at Le Mans but without a fully working ERS, many of the car’s other systems were compromised.
We know people will be disappointed but be assured that nobody is more disappointed than us. We are racers and we want to compete but we also want to be competitive. That is why we have chosen to continue our test program and prepare the GT-R LM NISMO for the strong competition we face in the World Endurance Championship. When you innovate you don’t give up at the first hurdle. We are committed to overcoming this challenge.—Shoichi Miyatani, President of NISMO
Nissan will continue the test program for the GT-R LM NISMO predominantly, but not exclusively, in the United States. Media updates will be issued as the car’s development continues. A decision on the date for Nissan’s return to the World Endurance Championship will be made in due course, depending on the progress of the test program.