The last few years have seen Audi dominate the world of international endurance racing, but that world used to be Nissan’s back in the salad days of IMSA and Group C. Recently, Nissan backed the innovative DeltaWing concept and snapped up its talented designer, Ben Bowlby, to help design a car that, it’s hoped, will put Nissan back on top. The most visible result of their collaboration, so far, is the 1000+ HP, front-wheel drive Nissan GTR LM Hybrid that debuted during the Super Bowl.
Earlier this week, Nissan took its 2015 LeMans contender out for a spin at the Sebring International Raceway, where it underwent a number of shakedown passes and (briefly) ran ahead of one of Audi’s all-conquering R18 e-Tron Quattro diesels.
Those Audis were, reportedly, lapping in the low 1:45s according to sources at Motorsport.com who were on the scene. That’s fast, but the bigger news might be this: the better the GTR LM does on track, the more likely it is that its innovative design will influence the upcoming R36 road car.
Whether or not the Nissan’s innovative design and maximized fuel and tire efficiency will be enough to get the Nissan GTR LM Nismo racer to the head of the pack at LeMans is, so far, anyone’s guess. All the same, you can check out the video (at top) along with an up-close pic from the Chicago Auto Show (below) and let us know what you think Nissan’s odds are in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!
2015 Nissan GTR LM Hybrid
Source | Video: Lanky Turtle, via Motorsport.