D he requirements for the debut of the new Nissan GT-R LM Nismo at the 24h race in Le Mans are extremely unfavorable and difficult: The car is new, it has never contested a race, and the technical concept is completely different from that of the three established LMP1 manufacturers, which created additional problems. The suppliers were often unable to deliver during the test phase, accidents and technical problems hindered testing, and the Nissan LMP1 failed the crash test, which in turn meant that the first two World Cup races could not be contested. In such a situation, many other manufacturers would probably have decided to postpone their racing debut again - in order not to meet the competition for the first time on the monster track at Le Mans, of all places, and possibly embarrass themselves in the process.
The So courage from Nissan is absolutely admirable to try it anyway. But you shouldn't overload the curious front-engined LMP1 with front-wheel drive with too high sporting hopes, that doesn't do it justice. Nissan's sports director Darren Kox says: '2015 is an apprenticeship year for us, we were so late on so many fronts that we won't be able to prove our high standards until next year.' In the pre-test, Nissan was over 20 years old Seconds per lap to the LMP1 best times of the competition. Assuming dry conditions, Nissan's gap will decrease in the Le Mans week, but not so significantly that Nissan will be able to play a prominent role in the race. So let's put that Ask how high the potential of the Nissan technology concept is to be assessed in general.
The 3-liter V6 direct-injection twin-turbo engine based on a Cosworth F1 engine should probably not be a bad choice for an LMP1 in terms of size, weight, efficiency and performance. Nissan is said to be Engine the 24h Ma could easily cope with the rathon distance, the test bench runs are said to have been completed with great ease. Even during the pre-test, no abnormalities were noticed in the engine area.
But the point is different: the original concept of the GT-R LM Nismo provided that the combustion engine andthe 8 MJ hybrid system should create an added system output of over 1,400 hp. However, this is unnecessary because the energy storage of the hybrid system either does not work or it could not be made to work. Torotrak's purely mechanical flywheel accumulator does not work as it should. So Nissan had to abandon the plan to recuperate 8 MJ. Instead, you now officially start in the class up to 2 MJ. The system is installed, but whether it will be operated on the race weekend is a completely different question. The second part of the original plan has meanwhile also become obsolete: Nissan actually wanted to boost the 8 MJ to the rear wheels, while the front wheels should transmit the power of the combustion engine. Since the hybrid system does not work as expected, the hybrid power would then also have to be directed to the front wheels, which the tires - which in addition to steering and braking forces also have to absorb the power of the V6 turbo - would probably not be reasonable either.
The next problem in the concept: because you don't manage to recuperate 8 MJ, the brakes overheat. In order to increase the brakes, the front wheels also had to be enlarged, but this reduces the height of the tire sidewall, which means that the maximum possible energy input into the tire is reduced. But that was important so that the front wheels could cope with the triple stress from braking, steering and driving forces. So many obstacles and plan changes that also explain why Nissan was so late in the pre-test.
Vehicle concept /aerodynamics
Even if those responsible for Nissan see it differently: it would have made more sense to go the way that the other LMP1 manufacturers also followed. Mid-engine, rear-wheel drive and boost on the front axle. Every simulation based on the current regulations spits out this technical approach as the optimal solution. You now pay a high price for stubbornness because many problems also have to do with the fact that vehicle parts are in places where they are not in other LMP1 cars. For example, the front crash test was a major challenge for Nissan because the front crash structure is mounted on the transmission, which in turn is mounted on the engine, which in turn is mounted on the chassis. Everything is much easier with a mid-engine.
In terms of aerodynamics, the Nissan is a special case: the incoming air is to be guided through the car by means of large ducts, which is intended to drastically reduce air resistance. At least that seems to work: Nissan marked the highest top speeds in the pre-test. It is impossible to imagine how high the top speeds really would be if you were able to boost 8 MJ.
Nissan sports director Darren Kox claims that Nissan can easily drive triple tints in the race, because the selected tire type is quite hard and therefore wear-resistant. You probably only need the rear tires Change three times over the entire race distance, because there is hardly any weight on the rear axle. That is definitely part of the concept: Because the center of weight moves forward in the front engine, the aero loads follow the weight distribution - and the downforce is primarily generated at the front. The high downforce helps with tire wear, so the thought. But since so many links in the Nissan LMP1 chain do not work, tire wear should honestly play a subordinate role in the race.
Nissan will not play a role at the top of the Le Mans field Probably 10 to 15 seconds lost on the top LMP1, in the race the trend will continue or be confirmed. There are big question marks behind the reliability of the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo, because the delays and obstacles during testing naturally also meant that fewer test kilometers were covered than planned. The Nissan debut at Le Mans will play a rather subordinate role overall.