Nissan GT-R LM NISMO runs in public for the first time at the official Le Mans test
Le Mans, France – Nissan today completed an extensive test programme at Le Mans during the official test day. The three Nissan GT-R LM NISMOs were the first cars on track when the morning session went green, ready to work through a comprehensive test programme to dial the cars into the unique Le Mans circuit.
All three cars ran different test programmes today in order to get through the vast amount of work required at this stage of the car’s development.
Most of the day's running was run in wet conditions with neither the No.23, 22 or the retro-liveried No.21 machines recording a representative dry weather time.
We weren't chasing headlines today.
In order to fully focus on the development of the cars, Nissan’s Le Mans rookies – Super GT Champion Tsugio Matsuda, ex F1 racer Max Chilton and Nissan GT star Alex Buncombe – jumped into the #75 Ginetta-Nissan LM P3 cars to complete the mandatory 10 laps for new entrants at Le Mans.
“I’ve watched so many laps of Le Mans on the TV since I was a kid,” said Chilton. “Today I got to see it from the driver’s perspective and I really enjoyed it! The conditions weren’t the best but I’m really looking forward to racing here.”
The team was pleased with the pace of the GT-R LM NISMO at the end of the day while running on intermediate rubber, Jann Mardenborough one of only two cars recording laps under the four minute mark.
"We weren't chasing headlines today. It was all about learning and recording data as part of our preparation for our Le Mans debut," Team Principal and Technical Director, Ben Bowlby said.
"At the end of the day our times in the damp conditions were competitive and during the morning runs we recorded the two fastest straight line speeds overall.
"We know we have a big learning curve ahead of us bringing this unique front-engined, front-wheel-drive car to Le Mans but after our first day here we have three straight cars in the garage and mountains of data for our engineers to study."
The Nissan team will base itself here at Le Mans for the next week before the three GT-R LM NISMO's are presented for scrutineering for the race next Sunday.