Nissan has announced it is withdrawing from the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship after concluding its innovative but flawed LM GT-R NISMO machine could not be made competitive.
The Japanese manufacturer announced its return to premier sportscar competition two years ago, hinting at the time that it would do so with its unique take on the LMP1 regulations, with the result being the unusual front-engined, front-wheel drive configured LM GT-R NISMO.
Originally intending to race the car from the start of the 2015 World Endurance Championship, the Nissan GT-R NISMO wouldn't make its competitive bow until the Le Mans 24 Hours, where its three entries would prove both fragile and uncompetitive, lapping more than 20secs off the ultimate pace.
Prompting Nissan to withdraw the car from the remainder of the WEC rounds in favour of rigorous testing with a view to a 2016 return, though this would continue up until early December, the firm has now announced it is canning the project altogether.
Conceding the car could not 'reach ambitions' in its current guise, Nissan says it will turn its focus to 'long-term racing strategies'.
“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.”