NISSAN MOTORSPORTS

February 14, 2014

Nissan announces 2014 motorsports activities

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Feb. 14, 2014) - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd. announced an outline of its motorsports activities for 2014.

  • Entry in the Le Mans 24 Hours (Garage 56) with the world's fastest electric-powered car, the NISSAN ZEOD RC
  • Participation in the GT500 class of the new 2014 SUPER GT series with the NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT500
  • Global support with NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3 for customer racing
  • Expanding the Nismo Athlete program

1.Le Mans 24 Hours/NISSAN ZEOD RC

The world's fastest electric-powered racing car, the NISSAN ZEOD RC will take part in the 2014 edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours under the “Garage 56” category. The car will be the first to complete an entire lap of the Le Mans circuit on nothing but electric power. The car will complete one electric lap per stint and then revert to the 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbo DIG-T R engine that produces an incredible 400 horsepower despite weighing only 40kg. The NISSAN ZEOD RC is currently in development at Nissan bases around the world. Lucas Ordóñez was named as the team's first driver recently and his teammates will be confirmed at a later time. ZEOD RC is part of the ramp up towards Nissan's intended entry to LMP1 in 2015.

2.SUPER GT (GT500 class)
●Vehicle:
Since the Technical Regulations for 2014 (excluding engines) have become aligned with those of the DTM (German Touring car Masters) we will take part in the series with a vehicle featuring a chassis and engine newly developed by Nismo. Making use of the characteristic design of the Nissan GT-R, the base vehicle, we are carrying out design and developments aiming for a car with high levels of both speed and reliability.

Main Areas of Development

Chassis:Together with a standardization of the frontal area of the car with the NISSAN GT-R NISMO, cooling/heating and braking efficiency have all been a key part of the development process. A number of Japan-specific developments have also been incorporated, including an adjustable pedal position for driver changes in SUPER GT, and air conditioning due to the heat and humidity experienced in some of the rounds held in the Japanese summer. Another difference from DTM is the multiple tire brands in SUPER GT; therefore testing has seen increased cooperation and mutual development of tires with each tire partner.
Aerodynamics:The 2014-spec NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT500 features greatly improved aerodynamic efficiency while working very hard to comply with the new regulations. Development of the rear fenders and lateral duct areas of the car's lower body have been uniquely designed, something that hasn't yet been adopted by DTM machines.
Engine:As engines conforming to the new rules are of a smaller displacement (2-liter, 4-cylinder direct-injection turbocharged), and maximum output levels are regulated (100kg/h) based on fuel flow rate instead of air, the amount of power that can be generated with the limited amount of fuel is key. One of the main development objectives is to incorporate high output, reliability and high fuel efficiency and by combining obtained technology from SUPER GT and Nissan's direct-injection turbo, we are currently developing the new “NR20A” engine, which is already proving to be competitive.
●Team organization:
Once again this year, NISMO, TEAM IMPUL, KONDO RACING and MOLA will be participating in SUPER GT, meaning four Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500s will be entered in the GT500 class of the series. Daiki Sasaki is stepping up after his successful development through the NDDP*. Nismo have taken this opportunity to revise its driver pairings for the first season of the new era of SUPER GT. Kunihiko Kakimoto continues in his role as Executive Director for the Nissan-related teams. (* NDDP:Nissan Driver Development Program)
No. Team Team Principal Drivers Vehicle Name
Tire Brand
23 NISMO Yutaka Suzuki Tsugio Matsuda MOTUL AUTECH GT-R
Ronnie Quintarelli (Italy) Michelin
12 TEAM IMPUL Kazuyoshi Hoshino Hironobu Yasuda Calsonic IMPUL GT-R
João Paulo de Oliveira (Brazil) Bridgestone
24 KONDO RACING Masahiko Kondo Michael Krumm (Germany) D'station ADVAN GT-R
Daiki Sasaki Yokohama
46 MOLA Toshiomi Oeki Satoshi Motoyama S Road MOLA GT-R
Masataka Yanagida Michelin
3.Customer Programs
Nissan/Nismo will continue to support customer teams this season racing with Nissan cars and Nissan engines.
●Supply and technical support of NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3
To complement the Championship-winning speed shown in 2013 - Nismo's 2014 model will further improve reliability, pit work speed and safety, as well as extending the life of the car's engine to continue to reduce running costs.
- SUPER GT GT300 Class
In addition, Nissan/Nismo will provide technical assistance and ongoing vehicle supply to customer teams competing with the NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3 in the GT300 class of SUPER GT, where they will also field an NDDP RACING entry under the supervision of Team Principal Masahiro Hasemi, with drivers Kazuki Hoshino and inaugural GT Academy champion Lucas Ordóñez behind the wheel.
Class Team Team Principal Drivers Vehicle Name
Tire Brand
GT300 NDDP RACING with B-MAX Masahiro Hasemi Kazuki Hoshino B-MAX NDDP GT-R
Lucas Ordóñez (Spain) Yokohama
- Blancpain Endurance Series
Nissan/NISMO will, through its GT3 program partners in Europe, JRM, provide technical assistance and ongoing vehicle supply to users of the NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3 competing in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Also in the Blancpain Endurance Series, Nissan GT Academy Team RJN will field a pair NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3 entries. The driver line-up will include 2013 Nissan GT Academy winners - Miguel Faisca, Florian Strauss, Stanislav Aksenov and Nick McMillen - and Chiyo Katsumasa, who will take advantage of the Nismo Global Driver Exchange Program.
Team Team Principal Drivers Vehicle Name
Tire Brand
GT Academy Team RJN Bob Neville Miguel Faisca (Portugal)
Florian Strauss (Germany)
Stanislav Aksenov (Russia)
NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3
Chiyo Katsumasa (Japan)
Nick McMillen (USA)
Pirelli
- Nürburgring 24 Hours
This season, Nissan/Nismo will return to the spiritual home of the GT-R with an official entry in the Nürburgring 24 Hours with the NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3, in a joint team with RJN, a competitor in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Details will be announced in due course, including a lineup of International Nismo athletes. This entry will not be a surprise to those that have followed the development of the road-going Nissan GT-R and most recently the Nismo version at the infamous Nürburgring. This is another example of Nissan and Nismo transferring knowledge between its road and race programs.
- Super Taikyu Series (GT3 class)
Following on from last year, Nissan/Nismo will continue to provide technical support to customer teams competing with the NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3 in the GT3 class of the Super Taikyu Series.
In addition, collaboration between Nissan Technical College and KONDO RACING continues this year, and sees participation in the GT3 class by the ThreeBond Nissan Technical College GT-R, where the season's racing activities form part of the students' motorsports education.
Class No. Team Team Principal Drivers Vehicle name
GT3 24 KONDO RACING Masahiko Kondo Tomonobu Fujii ThreeBond
Nissan Technical College GT-R
GAMISAN
Daiki Sasaki
Mitsunori Takaboshi

●Supply and technical support for LMP2-class engines
Nismo will continue to provide VK45DE engines and technical support to teams taking part in LMP2-class events including the Le Mans 24 Hours and FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). In the United States, Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will compete as an official Nissan/Nismo partner team in the prototype class of the United SportsCar Championship.
Race series in which LMP2-spec Nissan VK45DE-engined cars are scheduled to participate include:
FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Le Mans 24 Hours
United SportsCar Championship
European Le Mans Series
Asian Le Mans Series
●Super Taikyu Series (ST-3 class)
Continuing its activities from last season, Nissan/NISMO will provide technical support to customer teams competing with the Fairlady Z NISMO RC in the ST-3 class of the Super Taikyu Series.
4.Australia V8 Supercars
Nissan Australia will continue to compete in the Australian V8 Supercars Championship; the country's premier racing series, after recording a historic 1st and 2nd in the 25th round of the series in the inaugural year for the Altima. For year two Nismo will provide increased technical support for engine and aerodynamic developments.
●Team organization:
Drivers: Car:
Todd Kelly (Australia) Nissan Altima
Rick Kelly (Australia) Nissan Altima
Michael Caruso (Australia) Nissan Altima
James Moffat (Australia) Nissan Altima
5.Nismo Global Driver Exchange/Nissan Driver Development Program (NDDP)
Nissan/Nismo will continue our commitment to nurture and promote young drivers. The Nismo Global Driver Exchange started last year was aimed at giving drivers and Nismo athletes from around the world a chance to gain experience at an international level in order to hone their skills and open doors for their future careers. The program takes a dramatic step forward this year with full season exchanges for two Nismo drivers. Inaugural Nissan GT Academy winner Lucas Ordóñez will race in the home of PlayStation as he participates in SUPER GT's GT300 class, while NDDP participant Katsumasa Chiyo will contest the entire Blancpain Endurance Series. In addition, selected Nismo athletes will participate in the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in the United States.
●NISMO Global Driver Exchange Program
Category Team Drivers Vehicle Name
Team Principal Tire Brand
SUPER GT GT300 NDDP RACING with B-MAX Lucas Ordóñez (Spain) NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3
Masahiro Hasemi Yokohama
Blancpain
Endurance Series
GT Academy Team RJN Katsumasa Chiyo NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3
Bob Neville Pirelli
Sebring 12 Hours
Petit Le Mans
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing TBC Muscle Milk ORECA 03
Greg Pickett Continental
In addition, as NDDP advanced scholarship students, Daiki Sasaki and Mitsunori Takaboshi will both contest the Champion class of the All-Japan F3 Championship.
Class No. Team Team Principal Driver Vehicle Name
C 23 B-MAX Racing Team with NDDP Masahiro Hasemi Daiki Sasaki B-MAX NDDP F312
C 22 Mitsunori Takaboshi B-MAX NDDP F312
Nissan Global Motorsports Director Darren Cox's comments:
“Nissan and Nismo's race programs are increasingly global. We launched our campaign in Australia's V8 Supercars series last year and in 2014 we will expand into the USA with the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. With activities in Japan, Europe, the US, Australia and GT Academy gaining a foothold in many emerging markets such as Russia and India, we are showcasing the brand across the world. I am excited by the expansion of the ultra-successful Nismo Driver Exchange that will continue in 2014 with our original Nissan PlayStation GT Academy winner Lucas Ordóñez getting the chance to race full-time in the home of Gran Turismo in Japan and Katsumasa Chiyo joining our championship-winning team in the fiercely competitive Blancpain Endurance Series in Europe.”
NISMO President Shoichi Miyatani's comments:
“Nismo, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, is the performance brand that embodies Nissan's motto “Innovation and Excitement for Everyone”, and in order to raise the credibility of the brand, we must win races. I'd like to win back the series' title in this new era of SUPER GT, and to meet the expectations of our fans. In addition, we will be expanding the awareness of Nissan and NISMO more than ever through our activities utilizing LMP2, GT3 and our Global Driver Exchange program, which sees drivers competing on the world stage.”

There is an event scheduled for February 23rd (Sun) at the Nissan Global Headquarters gallery, which will be attended by Team Principals and SUPER GT drivers. The new livery for the #23 MOTUL AUTECH GT-R and #3 B-MAX NDDP GT-R will be revealed at the event.

 

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