News / Nissan's Farewell Win
10:12 AM | 07.12.2016 | Brent Davison
Nissan's Farewell Win 07 December 2016 | Brent Davison

Nissan's Farewell Win

Impressive Curtain Call


Nissan's Farewell Win

Impressive Curtain Call

Nissan's amazing winning run as an engine supplier for international Le Mans Prototype class 2 racing (LMP2) in the FIA's World Endurance Championship has come to an end after a long and illustrious career spanning five seasons.

The engine's final WEC race was won by the France-based G-Drive Racing team at the last race of the season in Bahrain, giving the NISMO engineering team a good reason to rest on their laurels.

NISMO's VK45DE V8 engine has been nothing but a success story that has built on the continual development of an engineering program that started in 2010 with test units that served as the basis for the race program.

That program started in 2011, the engine winning five races in what was then known as the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, a precursor to the FIA's WEC LMP2 class and a good entry point for Nissan's championship debut in 2012.

In that first year of WEC the 4.5-litre engine, developing around 335 kilowatts, won five of the series' eight races, backing that up in 2013, 2014, 2015 and this year with an unbeaten run, recording a remarkable 35 consecutive WEC race wins.

Created in 2012 by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the World Endurance Championship symbolises the revival of endurance racing.

In that time the NISMO engine powered Oak Racing to the 2013 championship, SMP Racing to the 2014 title, G-Drive Racing in 2015 and Signatech Alpine to this year's LMP2 championship.

The engine also took LMP2 class honours at the famous Le Mans 24-hour race with Greaves Motorsport in 2011, Oak Racing in2013, Jota Sport in 2014, KCMG in 2015 and Signatech Alpine this year.

Nissan also scored six consecutive LMP2 championships with the engine in the separate European Le Mans Series competition.

NISMO Global Motorsport Director, Mike Carcamo, said the company is sad that its time as an LMP2 engine supplier has come to an end and takes great pride in the race engine's success.

"After five seasons and 37 victories, we are immensely proud of our involvement and grateful to have had the opportunity to power so many teams to victory. The fact that LMP2 was an open engine competition and we have become so successful that every single team in this year's championship chose NISMO power, is very rewarding," Mr Carcamo said.

The engine has not gone away entirely, though. Nissan says it remains committed to prototype-style racing through LMP3 competition and it will also be available for teams competing in the 2017 Asian Le Mans Series.

Next year's LMP2 cars will use a single-make engine built by Gibson Technology. Known as the Gibson GK428, the 4.2 litre V8 will develop around 445 kilowatts of power.

Brent Davison

Former motoring writer for The Newcastle Herald and The Canberra Times. Loves cars, dogs, and food.

Sources in this article: