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Car and Driver: No More GT-R LM NISMO: Nissan Ends Its World Endurance Championship, Le Mans Efforts

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Nissan GT-R NISMO LMP1 Racer

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Bad news from Nissan’s factory racing division: The team announced this morning that it will not enter the GT-R LM NISMO in the 2016 season of FIA World Endurance Championship racing.
-The GT-R LM NISMO was an outrageous, unconventional entry in the LMP1 category when it competed in the 2015 WEC season. The twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V-6 was mounted in the front, driving the front wheels—in both cases the opposite of the convention in LMP1. That, plus a heavily front-biased aerodynamic setup showed that Nissan’s race engineers thought they’d hit on a secret advantage that would depose five-in-a-row Le Mans winner Audi.

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Of course, that’s not how it worked out. Porsche took the overall LMP1 victory in this year’s running at the Circuit de la Sarthe, while Nissan’s LMP1 entries ran so far back from the leaders, they were tangling with LMP2 and GTE-Pro racers instead of the Porsche and Audi front-runners. Only one of the three NISMOs even crossed the finish line.

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Faced with that poor outing, Nissan has decided to withdraw from the 2016 season. “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 team says in its statement. “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.”

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Update: We reached out to NISMO to find out whether the GT-R LM NISMO would race anywhere in 2016. Here’s what a spokesperson for the racing organization told us: “[T]he GT-R LM NISMO will not compete in any races next season, including the Le Mans 24 Hours. Of course, Nissan will still be at Le Mans in force as a primary supplier of engines in the LMP2 category so, in that sense, Nissan will still very much compete at Le Mans.”

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This story originally appeared on Road and Track.

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