It was a nightmare debut for the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo at the 24 Hours of Le Mans back in June, and since then there have been rumblings about what the future may hold for this radical programme.

Apparently, the future of Nissan’s LMP1 programme is being decided this week in Japan, with high-level executive meetings planned to discuss whether the Japanese manufacturer will continue to persevere with its planned two-year campaign with its current GT-R LM Nismo.

Nissan had fielded three of the radical front-engined, front-wheel drive race cars at Le Mans, and all cars struggled with pace and reliability issues. Although the #22 car did eventually race to the chequered flag (a long, long way down the field), it was no classified as it did not manage to complete 70% of the winner’s race distance.


It was a bitter pill to swallow for the team, as it finished 150 laps down from the winning Porsche 919. Unfortunately, all three cars ran with its hybrid systems deactivated due to persistent complications.

“Nissan has always been associated with innovation,” said Carlos Ghosn, Nissan President and CEO. “We made an attempt that did not prove fruitful, we must reassess the strategy, as we wanted to be different and competitive, but we’ve only been different.”

A Nissan spokesperson did tell Sportscar365 that it’s “business as normal” for the LMP1 team, with its US-based operation preparing for a test at the Circuit of the Americas from July 27 to 28. The team will be testing new bodywork, suspension and brakes.


Speaking to Speedcafe, Ben Bowlby, who heads the North American-based outfit, has not confirmed whether the team intends to switch on its hybrid system for the remainder of the World Endurance Championship, as the energy recovery system had proved a major stumbling block for the team.

“Sometimes, innovation hurts, but the process is fascinating for those who are interested in this kind of thing. At the moment, due to the readiness of the ERS system, it can only connect to the front wheels,” he added. Bowlby is convinced that his left-field design will work eventually, and his team is committed towards achieving their lofty benchmarks in due time. The World Endurance Championship will return with the 6 Hours of the Nurburgring from August 28 to 30.