Nissan: The story and highlights of Nissan during Le Mans

Posted on 12. Jun, 2015 by in Nissan Canada

Nissan GT-R LM NISMO Newsroom


From a entrance in 1986, Nissan has dreamed of success during a Le Mans 24 Hours, a foe and a idea that a whole association has targeted with mixed programs over a years. We have been on a stick and stood on a podium, though feat in a world’s biggest continuation foe stays an aspiration that a Nissan GT-R LM NISMO now targets. Take a demeanour behind by a highlights of Nissan’s Le Mans involvement.

1986 / Nissan R85V

  • Length / Width / Height: 4,794 / 1,994 / 1,069mm
  • Vehicle Weight: 880kg
  • Maximum Engine Output: Over 680ps/8,000rpm

In 1986, Nissan participated for a initial time during a Le Mans 24-hour race, a world’s premiere continuation event. For a initial Le Mans challenge, Nissan entered dual cars: an “R86V” 1986 indication Mar 86G with a 3-liter V6 twin-turbo VG30 engine, and an R85V 1985 indication Mar with an 85G engine. The R85V had been raced domestically in Japan given 1985, giving it a some-more plain bottom of regulation compared to a new indication R86V. The drivers were Kazuyoshi Hoshino, Keiji Matsumoto and Aguri Suzuki in a R86V, and Masahiro Hasemi, Takao Wada and James Weaver in a R85V.

The R85V battled hard, during one indicate rising to 9th position overall, and after overcoming a array of misfortunes managed to finish 284 laps/3,850.5km to finish a foe in altogether 16th position. The altogether leader was a Porsche 962C with 367 laps. Although a 16th place finish in a ancestral initial tour was a plain performance, a vivid opening to a tip ranked automobile valid there was still a outrageous disproportion in energy that indispensable to be addressed.

1990 / Nissan R90CP/CK

  • Length / Width / Height: 4,800 / 1,990 / 1,100mm
  • Vehicle Weight: 900kg
  • Maximum Engine Output: Over 800ps/7,600rpm


For a 1990 Group C races, Nissan done efforts to urge a trustworthiness of a R89C, that had proven a speed during a prior season. Improvements enclosed a mutated chassis, designation of a VRH35 indication VRH35Z engine and a cowling designed by Nissan Performance Technology (NPTI) that was built in-house during Nissan. Due to this a new indication R90CP, notwithstanding being formed on a prior year’s model, had 70 percent of a tools done by Nissan and NISMO. Another underline of a cars was a use of carbon-disco brakes done by Brembo S.p.a. Two R90CP cars were entered in a 1990 JSPC continuation foe array – one underneath a Calsonic-Nissan Team driven by Kazuyoshi Hoshino and Toshio Suzuki underneath a YHP-Nissan Team driven by Masahiro Hasemi and Andres Olofsson.

Five R90CP cars (plus a span of C89s) took on a plea of a Le Mans 24 Hours in 1990, with one R90CP entrance from NISMO, dual European R90CK entries, and dual American R90CP vehicles.

In subordinate for Le Mans, a Japan-built automobile took stick position for a initial time ever – Mark Blundell putting in an startling path aboard one of a European CK entries on a circuit featuring, for a initial time, a dual chicanes on a barbarous Mulsanne Straight, notwithstanding that a stick position automobile posted a march record tip speed of 366 km/h

Hopes were high for a initial win by a Japanese car, though an hapless array of problems saw 4 of a R90CPs late during a race, a usually one to finish being a appurtenance driven by Masahiro Hasemi, Kazuyoshi Hoshino and Toshio Suzuki, that finished in 5th place overall, during a time a tip ever outcome for a Japanese automobile and Japanese drivers.

1995 / NISMO GT-R LM

  • Length / Width / Height: 4,675 / 1,880 / 1,300mm
  • Vehicle Weight: 1370kg #22, 1285 kg #23
  • Maximum Engine Output: Over 600ps/-rpm

In 1995, NISMO entered dual Skyline GT-R (R33)-based machines, famous as NISMO GT-R LM, in a LM GT1 category of a Le Mans 24 Hours. The No. 23 automobile total a Group A-spec engine with a consecutive gearbox, while a No. 22 appurtenance total an N1 Endurance-spec engine with an H-pattern delivery that led to opposite atmosphere restrictors for any automobile – and opposite racing weights, too.

The No. 22 automobile was embellished in a tricolor, with a proffer organisation as a categorical sponsor.

The sponsor’s name, “Keep a Dream Alive,” seemed in vast letters on a hood, roof and doors; it was truly a appurtenance run with a team-work of Nissan and a fans. Sixteen of a race’s 24 hours were run in a rain, and usually 20 of a 48 starters were means to strech a finish.

The No. 23 GT-R LM late during a foe due to driveline trouble, though a No. 22 car, that had started 35th, finished a foe in 10th place altogether (5th in a GT1 class) notwithstanding it being their initial time entered in a race.

The group returned with a span of cars a following year, though success again eluded them. One automobile late after an accident; a other done it home in 15th overall.

1997-98 / Nissan R390 GT1

  • Length / Width / Height: 4,675 / 1,880 / 1,300mm (1997 car)
  • Vehicle Weight: c.1100kg
  • Maximum Engine Output: Over 600ps/-rpm

Changing from a NISMO GT-R LM that had raced a 1995 and 1996 Le Mans 24 Hours events, Nissan responded to fast developments in a GT1 category by investing in a R390 GT1, aiming for altogether feat in a 1997 race. The R390 was grown in team-work with Tom Walkinshaw Racing. It was a multiple of a CO monocoque framework with a CO combination physique propitious with a 3.5-liter twin turbo V8 VRH35L engine, an expansion of a engine used in a Nissan R89C.

The R390 GT1 showed extraordinary speed in pre-qualifying, and ace motorist Martin Brundle knocked out a tip time. However, since of a disagreement about regulations, TWR were forced to cgange a case section, and due to this, problems arose in cooling a gearbox.

Two cars were means to squeeze a 4th and 12th positions in subordinate and a good opening in a foe was anticipated, though difficulty cooling a gearboxes forced dual of a 3 cars entered to retire. The solitary remaining group of Kazuyoshi Hoshino, Erik Comas, and Masahiko Kageyama also suffered delivery issues though finished a foe in 12th place, withdrawal some wish for a following year.

The 1998 chronicle of a automobile saw a heavy behind finish dealt with and a 13 cm longer automobile came behind for another shot with a contingent of full spec bureau cars and a singular 1997 spec automobile (with a new 1998 bodywork).  All 4 cars would finish in a tip 10, with a #32 automobile creation it onto a third step of a podium.

2011 to currently / Nissan VK45DE

  • LM P2 engine
  • Maximum Engine Output: 450 bhp

A new LMP2 regulation saw a youth antecedent category adopt production-based engines. The Nissan VK45DE 4.5-liter V8 engine valid a really renouned choice, and right from a start Nissan energy dominated with Nissan-powered machines finishing in initial and second place during a 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours.  Olivier Lombard took a mottled dwindle as LMP2 leader in a Zytek Nissan of Greaves Motorsport, and in second place was a Oreca 03 Nissan of a Signatech Nissan group of Lucas Ordóñez, Franck Mailleux and Soheil Ayari.

The drama-filled 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours is remembered as a foe that kick some of a best with many tip drivers and manufacturers unwell to finish. It will also be remembered as a foe where Nissan’s Ordóñez went from winning a barbarous GT Academy foe usually 3 years progressing to holding a lectern position during a toughest foe in a world.

The Nissan V8 won again in 2013, this time powering a Morgan framework of Oak Racing that went on to take a LMP2 World Championship, and in a initial 3 years of a new regulation it has powered 7 out of a accessible 9 lectern finishers.

The feat again went to Nissan in 2014, with Jota Sport holding a feat and destiny Nissan LM P1 motorist Harry Tincknell as partial of a pushing squad.

2014 / Nissan ZEOD RC


The ZEOD RC, that stands for “Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car,” was awarded a prestigious “Garage 56” entrance during a 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans for vehicles that showcase new and innovative technology. The insubordinate appurtenance became a initial automobile to finish an whole 13.6-kilometer (8.5-mile) path of Le Mans on zero though electrical power. The motorist choice for Nissan’s insubordinate ZEOD RC antecedent featured dual past winners of a Nissan PlayStation GT Academy program, with Belgian motorist Wolfgang Reip sealed to join Lucas Ordóñez.

For any tank of fuel used during Le Mans, a ZEOD RC planed to finish an additional path on pristine electric power. While handling underneath gas power, a car’s battery was recharged by regenerative braking – recycling a feverishness generated by a CO brakes to furnish electricity. This growth plan was used by Nissan as partial of a attack on a LM P1 category of a Le Mans 24 Hours and a FIA World Endurance Championship in 2015.

After completing a targets of completing an all-electric path of Le Mans and commanding 300km/h on a Mulsanne Straight on electric energy only, a automobile sadly was separated early in a foe by a gearbox issue.


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