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Nissan rules out FIA WEC LMP1 return in 2015

Le Mans 24 Hour Race

LE MANS, FRANCE - JUNE 13: The Nissan NISMO GT-R LM of Harry Tincknell, Michael Krumm and Alex Buncombe is wheeled from its garage before the Le Mans 24 Hour race at the Circuit de la Sarthe on June 13, 2015 in Le Mans, France. (Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images)

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Nissan has confirmed that it will not return to the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship until 2016 as its extensive testing and development programme continues.

The Japanese manufacturer embarked on a three-car assault at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June with its unique Nissan GT-R LM NISMO runner, but encountered a myriad of problems that saw none of the trio end the race as classified finishers.

Nissan had been due to take part in the next race, the 6 Hours of Nürburgring in July, but announced that it would be delaying its return to LMP1 until the technical issues had been resolved.

In a statement issued on Thursday, it was confirmed that it will now be focusing on making a comeback for the 2016 FIA WEC season while testing continued.

“Nissan today announced that the innovative Nissan GT-R LM NISMO will return to race in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2016,” the statement reads.

“The team has been working hard to address the technical issues faced at Le Mans in June and is in the middle of a comprehensive test and development programme to prepare the new car to race against the tough competition it faces in the LMP1 class.”

The team is sticking with its original design plan for the GT-R LM NISMO, but has made a change in its race operation as Michael Carcamo joins as team principal in place of Ben Bowlby.

“Ben had his hands full trying to do everything, managing the design and build but also the race and test operation,” Carcamo, formerly of Nissan Mexico, said. “That’s a lot to ask anyone to do, especially with a concept that requires this level of development.

“My knowledge of Nissan engineering processes and project planning experience will help Ben and the team concentrate on making the car deliver on its promise.

“The challenge that we took on was a monumental task. We have to learn all of the dynamics of this new vehicle and all the performance tuning so it takes a long time to find the sweet spot of performance.

“We recognise that challenge and we’ve added the resources and infrastructure behind the programme to try and bring it to that next level.”

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