Nissan has announced that the architect of its current LMP1 sportscar programme, Darren Cox, has departed the Japanese company.
Cox has been part of Nissan since moving across from sister marque Renault in 2004, in which time he has built the company's global motorsport footprint virtually from scratch, including programmes in LMP2, GT3 and V8 Supercars as well as its flagship LMP1 project.
Nissan's radical front-engined GT-R LM NISMO contender, first announced by Cox last year, has its roots in the 'Garage 56' DeltaWing and ZEOD RC entries that participated at Le Mans in 2012 and 2014 respectively.
Prior to this, Cox oversaw the launch of the GT Academy in 2008, which has since grown to three editions encompassing countries all over the globe, and has produced drivers such as Lucas Ordonez, Jann Mardenborough, Mark Shulzhitskiy and Gaetan Paletou.
Cox said founding the GT Academy ranked among his proudest achievements in his 18 year spell working for the Renault/Nissan alliance.
“The decision to leave Nissan and the Alliance was not an easy one," said Cox.
"I have enjoyed a great many years working on some amazing projects with great people and have thrived on the challenges, successes and even failures, in equal measure.
"I have seen GT Academy grow from a small European initiative to now embracing countries representing half the world’s population."
Nissan says a decision regarding the restructuring of its NISMO division, of which Cox acted as global head of marketing and sales, will be announced in due course.