The news came fast this Friday (30): Darren Cox, Head of Sales and Marketing of Nissan, was confirmed to be out of the Japanese manufacturer as he resigned of his position after 18 years of contribution.
Cox was known for some really good initiatives during the few past years, like the LMP2 engine program that put Nissan power in almost all teams of the cost-capped prototype class, as well the GT3 program that conquered wins at the 12 Hours of Bathurst and in the Blancpain Endurance Series with the Nissan GT-R GT3 model.
Also, he was responsible for promoting the new Nissan GT-R LM NISMO LMP1 model, which although didn’t prove to be competitive in its only race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, will be recognized for its incredible marketing strategy, with a presentation commercial shown to the whole world during the Super Bowl.
But by the most recognizable achievement from Cox during his time at Nissan was the GT Academy program, selecting drivers from the Gran Turismo game series, proving that a driver can come from the video games if he has the proper opportunity to show what he can do. Lots of drivers came from the program, including some good ones like Mark Shulzhitskiy, Wolfgang Reip, Lucas Ordoñez, Florian Strauss and the GP3 driver Jann Mardenborough.
About the decision of parting ways with Nissan, Cox explained: “The decision to leave Nissan and the Alliance was not an easy one. I have enjoyed a great many years working on some amazing projects with great people and have thrived on the challenges, successes and even failures, in equal measure. I have seen GT Academy grow from a small European initiative to now embracing countries representing half the world’s population. I am equally proud of successes such as participating in the launch of Juke, managing marketing for Qashqai in Europe and being part of the team working to expand the Nismo Brand. While I am excited to take a new direction in my career, there is much that I will miss about my time with Nissan and I wish everyone all the best for the future.”
PHOTO - NISMO