With the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship just four months away, Nissan today announced it will not participate in the series' LMP1 class.
"The teams worked diligently to bring the vehicles up to the desired performance levels," Nissan said in a statement. "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."
Nissan's LMP1 ambitions for 2015 was highlighted by its new and unconventional GT-R LM Nismo, a front-engine, front-drive hybrid race car that included a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V-6 and a flywheel-type Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS). All three of Nissan's race cars suffered mechanical issues at Le Mans, with only one of three prototypes finishing the race.
The GT-R LM Nismo didn't see much track time, as Nissan pulled out of the second half of the 2015 WEC season as well. Shortly after Le Mans, Nissan executives met todiscuss the program with CEO Carlos Ghosn saying, "We made an attempt that did not prove fruitful. We wanted to be different and competitive but we've only been different." Despite Ghosn's harsh criticism, Nissan a few months later said it would continue its LMP1 bid. Unfortunately, it now seems likely that Nissan will abandon its front-engine LMP1 gamble all together.