This Tuesday (22), we had the confirmation that the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship will have less contenders, as Nissan officially stated that will withdraw its pair of entries for the 2016 season of the worldwide championship.
The Nissan GT-R LM NISMO took part in only one race in its existence, which was the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and with problems related to the non-operational hybrid system, their three cars struggled to even match the LMP2 contenders. After that, the car kept testing and it was said that the car was making progress, although a functional hybrid system was still a dream, and with a possible ERS coming from Renault, there could be a change in the game. Various months passed, the program didn’t reached the expected performance, and the Japanese manufacturer decided to cut the program.
The statement released by Nissan says:
“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.”
With the withdrawal of the pair of FWD-based prototypes, the LMP1 grid will be composed by six manufacturer entries (2 from Audi, Toyota and Porsche) and at least three privateer entries (2 from Rebellion, 1 from ByKolles).