Tuesday 22 December 2015

Nissan pulls out of WEC

This afternoon, Nissan announced they will not participate in the 2016 WEC championship, and thus won't race at Le Mans either next year.

Today, Nissan announced that it will withdraw its LMP1 entry from the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship.
Nissan entered LMP1 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 LMP3 engine.

After presenting their revolutional GTR-LM earlier this year, with a radical new design and front wheel drive, expectations were very high ... if not too high.  The cars didn't race at the opening rounds of the WEC at Silverstone and Spa.  At Le Mans, 3 cars were entered but without the bespoke new hybrid system. Only one car completed the 24 hours, but they were all week way off pace to compete even with the LMP2 category. 

Nissan however did bring a fresh and highly anticipated design on LMP1, but probably reached too high with too many radical changes over the prototypes we have seen in the past years. Despite all their glitches and problems, they still managed to have some of the highest top speeds at Le Mans, so there must have been lots of potential in these cars. A shame we won't see more of them in the future. 

Kristof Vermeulen.