Exclusive: Piquet to test Nissan LMP1 car

Formula E champion Nelson Piquet Jr is among several new drivers who will test Nissan's LMP1 car at NOLA Motorsports Park next week.

Bruno Junqueira and Memo Rojas will also get seat time in the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO, joining team regulars Harry Tincknell and Jann Mardenborough.

The two-day test starts on Tuesday (December 8), with Tincknell and Mardenborough undertaking the majority of the running before Piquet, Rojas and Junqueira all get miles on Wednesday.

For Piquet, who races in Global Rallycross as well as Formula E, it will be a first taste of an LMP car.

Ex-Formula 3000 champion and Champ Car frontunner Junqueira has previously driven only LMPC cars, while four-time Rolex Sports Car Series champion Rojas got his first laps in an LMP2 car with the AF Racing-entered BR01 at Bahrain 10 days ago.

New tyres and aero to be tested

The NOLA test will mark the first time the Nissan LMP1 machines have been in action since September - and therefore also the first time since Darren Cox left Nissan.

A range of new developments will run on the car during the test, as the team aims to re-build after a challenging debut campaign in 2015.

Motorsport.com understands that the team plans to run new-spec Michelin tyres, while a new aerodynamic package will also be trialled. 

This will be a precursor to a new-look 2016 car that should run at the Paul Ricard prologue pre-season test in March.

Nissan is planning a second NOLA test in February, where a second phase of developments will be tried out. The new hybrid system is believed not to be ready to test until February at the earliest.

The Japanese marque recently confirmed that it would enter two cars in the full FIA WEC, including a brace of Nissan GT-R LM NISMOs at Le Mans next June.

It remains to be seen whether the team will take on any new drivers for the 2016 season.

Olivier Pla, who raced for Nissan at Le Mans last year, is set to be named as part of the Ford GT squad early in 2016.

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About this article
Series WEC
Drivers Bruno Junqueira , Nelson Piquet Jr. , Memo Rojas
Teams Nissan Motorsport
Article type Breaking news