Nissan GT-R LM Nismo completes significant US test

Nissan’s unusual front-drive racer finally logs miles in long-distance testing

2015 has been as difficult as you might expect for Nissan. Its front-wheel drive GT-R LM Nismo racer is an eye-opening concept, but lack of testing mileage and the decision to sit out the WEC races at Silverstone and Spa hints at a rocky few months.

A major test at NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky should silence some of the naysayers however.  Drivers including Harry Tincknell, Michael Krumm, Max Chilton, Marc Gene, Jann Mardenborough and Alex Buncombe completed over 1200 miles at the American circuit.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

If the choice of location seems unusual, the clue is in the corners. NCM features several turns that replicate those at Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans – including Mulsanne Corner, the PlayStation chicane and the Porsche Curves – the latter in curvature if not topography.

Unfortunately, heavy rain means the team was only able to complete wet running – but the car and special Michelin wet tyres are said to be running well.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Speaking to GTAcademy graduate and Nismo racer Jann Mardenborough after the GT-R LM’s launch, wet weather running is apparently a strong point of the new car.

‘It’s great in the wet,’ Jann told us. ‘You have so much confidence, because it’s not snappy in the wet like a rear-wheel drive car. We’ve also got excellent traction.’

Teammate Harry Tincknell completed the most miles in testing. ‘We managed some laps in the dry on the first morning, but it has been mainly wet since then.

‘We have had the car running smoothly and are still learning masses every day. It’s been very useful.’

Team Principal Ben Bowlby added his own take on the test, which was aimed at optimising the suspension setup and refining the car’s advanced traction control system. ‘We’ve gone from trying to make the car go around a race track to getting the car ready to race.’

There’s a long way still to go – not least in the full Le Mans 24 Hours itself – but Nissan is edging ever closer to its race debut.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/racing/21916/glickenhaus-007-le-mans-hypercar-specs-uncovered
racing

Glickenhaus 007 Le Mans hypercar specs uncovered

12 Feb 2020
Visit/racing/202001/prodrive-opens-restoration-service-for-its-iconic-competition-cars

Prodrive opens restoration service for its iconic competition cars

28 Nov 2019
Visit/bmw/m2/201929/track-only-bmw-m2-cs-racing-unveiled
BMW M2

Track-only BMW M2 CS Racing unveiled 

6 Nov 2019
Visit/ford/201926/ford-bronco-r-prototype-to-enter-the-baja-1000
Ford

Ford Bronco R prototype to enter the Baja 1000

5 Nov 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/porsche/cayman/202238/porsche-cayman-gts-40-2020-review-a-cut-price-cayman-gt4
Porsche Cayman

Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 2020 review - a cut-price Cayman GT4? 

The 2020 Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0 regains its flat-six and therefore top-billing in the class. It’s a brilliant package for those whom a GT4 is a bit to…
16 Feb 2020
Visit/volkswagen/21153/2020-volkswagen-golf-r-mk8-spied-ahead-of-reveal
Volkswagen Golf R

2020 Volkswagen Golf R Mk8 spied ahead of reveal

Next-generation VW Golf R spotted cold weather testing prior to official launch
17 Feb 2020
Visit/pagani/202249/eu5m-pagani-imola-revealed-with-815bhp-twin-turbocharged-v12
Pagani

€5m Pagani Imola revealed with 815bhp twin-turbocharged V12

As if the £2m Huayra BC wasn't enough, the Italian marque has unveiled yet another limited-run hardcore hypercar
17 Feb 2020
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019