Japanese fans get first opportunity to see ground-breaking electric racer at the World Endurance Championship event
IRVINE, Calif. Japanese fans will have the first opportunity to see the revolutionary Nissan ZEOD RC in action when the car makes its public on-track debut at this year’s Fuji Speedway round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Running in pure electric mode, the Nissan ZEOD RC will undertake demonstration runs on October 18, 19 and 20 – all three days of the Japanese round of the WEC. The Fuji demonstration was announced at the Nissan 360 global media event in California.
The ZEOD RC (Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car) will make its race debut at next year’s Le Mans 24 Hour. The global leader in electric vehicles for the road, Nissan will trial variants of new electric drive train technologies as part of its intended future return to LM P1 competition to challenge for overall victory at the world’s most prestigious endurance race.
Nissan’s two-time Japanese SUPER GT champion Michael Krumm will drive the car at Fuji. Krumm was part of the driver line-up for the Nissan DeltaWing program in 2012 and also finished third in the LM P2 class this year at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Krumm competes for Kondo Racing in the SUPER GT championship in Japan alongside Hironobu Yasuda. In addition to his SUPER GT and Le Mans schedule, Krumm also recently tested a Nissan Altima V8 Supercar in Australia for the factory Nissan team.
“I’m totally thrilled at the opportunity to drive the Nissan ZEOD RC at Fuji,” Krumm said.
“Last year’s WEC round at Fuji was a great success and I am sure this year will be even bigger. Giving the fans in Japan the chance to see the Nissan ZEOD RC run for the first time will be fantastic.
“It is certainly going to be a very unique experience to go that fast with electric power – especially since Fuji’s main straight is nearly a mile long.
“Fuji Speedway is such an historic venue – it’s actually pretty fitting that the ZEOD RC will have its first public runs here because this car certainly has the opportunity to change motorsport history.
“We’re only doing a demonstration run but I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of top speed we’ll see on the straight.”
The Nissan ZEOD RC will kick off its testing and development program in the UK soon with inaugural Nissan PlayStation GT Academy winner Lucas Ordóñez behind the wheel.
Ordóñez and Krumm were teammates at Le Mans this year where they scored third place in the LM P2 class with 2011 GT Academy winner, Jann Mardenborough.
Nissan is also enjoying a highly successful season in the FIA World Endurance Championship in the LM P2 class with pole position and victory at the first four rounds of the season at Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps and Le Mans and Interlagos.
“One of our goals with the Nissan ZEOD RC is to draw back the curtain for fans so they can see what goes on behind the scenes in the development of such a unique race car,” said Nissan’s Global Motorsport Director, Darren Cox.
“As part of that philosophy, we thought it would be quite fitting that rather than just test behind closed doors, we give the fans the chance to see the car in action.
“To be able to do that at such a great venue like Fuji Speedway only 90 minutes away from the home of Nismo in Yokohama was too good to pass up.
“We’ll be on track with many of the cars from the WEC at Le Mans next year so our demonstration runs will also give us some initial comparison data as well.”
After the Fuji events, the Nissan ZEOD RC will continue its development program in Europe with Lucas Ordóñez returning to the driver seat. The car is scheduled to make its race debut at next year’s Le Mans 24 Hour where it will occupy Garage 56 – an additional entry reserved by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest for cars using new and innovative technology not previously seen in the French endurance classic.
“Nissan has become a global leader in the development of zero emission automotive technology and the Nissan ZEOD RC will allow us to further develop those capabilities using the toughest endurance race in the world as a mobile test bed to test the potential of our planned LM P1 power train,” said Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President and Executive Committee member at Nissan Motor Company Limited.
“The ZEOD RC program is designed to develop multiple technologies to evaluate how they could be used for a future LM P1 class return of Nissan at the Le Mans 24 Hour.”
Nissan is already a global leader in the development of electric vehicles for the road. Launched in 2010, the Nissan LEAF has become the world’s best-selling all-electric car. The LEAF won the 2010 Green Car Vision Award, the 2011 European Car of the Year, the 2011 World Car of the Year, and the 2011–2012 Car of the Year Japan.
Nissan launched the Nissan LEAF RC in 2011 – a race car prototype powered by the same 107-hp electric motor that is used in the road car.
The Nissan ZEOD RC is the next step in the electrification of motorsport. The new car will turn speeds faster than GTE class cars running purely on electric power with zero emissions.