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Le Mans 24 Hours: ZEOD RC completes all-electric lap despite early exit

The Nissan ZEOD RC retires from Le Mans after just five laps, but it does achieve its aim of completing the circuit on electric power alone
The revolutionary Nissan ZEOD RC prototype racer hit its target of completing a full lap of the Circuit de la Sarthe at Le Mans on electric-power alone, even if it could only manage five laps of the race outright.

Working out of 'Garage 56' to 'encourage the development of new technologies', the Nissan came into the event with the intention of becoming the first entry to complete a lap of the Le Mans circuit using its batteries alone and reach a record top speed of 300km/h.

In an event that saw the car beset by technical problems, which meant it completed only 30 laps coming into race day, the team was already on the back foot, though it successfully did reach its top speed target during qualifying.

Nissan then chose to use the morning warm-up for its attempt to complete the lap on solely electric-power, with driver Satoshi Motoyama achieving the momentous feat with relative ease.

Sadly, Nissan's confidence boost was to be shortlived once the race got underway, the car suffering gearbox problems after just five laps and grinding to a halt. Despite the premature end to the race, NISMO's Darren Cox was proud of the achievements made by the team.

"They say that life is a rollercoaster but certainly motorsport takes this to the next level. Just today we've had massive highs followed by a temporary low," said Darren Cox, Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales, NISMO.

"The team did a brilliant job in achieving the electric lap. We only tried it once and we completed it. That is an amazing accomplishment for Nissan and electric vehicles. We were very confident in starting the race and earlier in the week we had already exceeded 300km/h. We were looking forward to doing some more electric laps throughout the race but a traditional part of a gearbox broke.

"It is a real shame because we were really looking forward to showcasing the EV technology in the race. It has been an amazing experience for everyone that has been involved. I hope everyone who was worked on the project and put in so many hours will remember the high when the car completed its electric lap of Le Mans."

Nissan will now turn its attentions to 2015 and its much anticipated entry into the LMP1 class which will see it go up against Audi, Toyota and Porsche next season.



Related Pictures

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Lucas Ordonez / Wolfgang Reip / Satoshi Motoyama Nissan Motorsports Global Nissan ZEOD RC
Lucas Ordonez / Wolfgang Reip / Satoshi Motoyama Nissan Motorsports Global Nissan ZEOD RC
Lucas Ordonez / Wolfgang Reip / Satoshi Motoyama Nissan Motorsports Global Nissan ZEOD RC
Lucas Ordonez / Wolfgang Reip / Satoshi Motoyama Nissan Motorsports Global Nissan ZEOD RC
Lucas Ordonez / Wolfgang Reip / Satoshi Motoyama Nissan Motorsports Global Nissan ZEOD RC
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Nissan at the drivers parade
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