Nissan have finally confirmed their participation, as an engine supplier in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup with the French Signature Racing team.
Racing under the ‘Signatech Nissan’ name, the new partnership will run a new ORECA 03 Chassis with a NISMO developed, Zytek Manufactured VK45 V8 powerplant.
They will make their debut Round One of the ILMC and American Le Mans Series at the 12hrs of Sebring in March. The ILMC is a new series of existing endurance races from the European Le Mans Series, Le Mans and the ALMS to form a worldwide Endurance Cup.
Yesterday, the team was also awarded a place on the 24 Hours of Le Mans entry list. Formula 3 racer, Frankc Mailleux has been confirmed as one driver, with ex F1 driver, Tiago Monterio listed for an Additional Le Mans entry. A third ORECA Nissan under the ‘Team ORECA Matmut’ banner is also entered for Le Mans.
Nissan last competed at Le Mans in the prototype category in 1990 with the Nissan R90CK, reaching an incredible 226.9mph on the Mulsanne Straight. You can view an great video of Mark Blundell during qualifying here.
Eagle eyed readers will have noticed Nissan branding suddenly appear from the Hospitality boxes on the finish straight at the end of 2010 Le Mans, which gave an indication of Le Mans Interest.
- Andy Blackmore
Nissan ran prototypes at Le Mans in 1997, 1998 and 1999. R390 and R391 anyone?
Sure, even though Nissan is returning to Prototype Racing, they should have colored the Oreca in the style of the R90CK.
it won't be like the early 90's Le Mans but I'm still excited and glad to see Nissan is showing interest in Le Mans again and let's hope more japanese manufacturers show interest in coming back to motorsports again.
R390 and R391 weren't prototypes, they were GT cars racing in the GT1 class, hence the homologated "street car" requirement.
The R391 was an open top prototype car using a 5 liter NA V8 motor. The R390 was a coupe wtih a 3.5 twin turbo V8. There was 1 R390 street car built to meet the rules. There never was a street R391. The R390 and 391 had no common parts.
Is that a Saleen S7 in that last photo? Helluva sexy car.
R390 ran to (then almost) new GT1 rules, they were not prototypes, although the lines were blurred at that point
wasn't the R390 a GT1 car with street cars available. Stunning looking cars though.
Oh, this is pretty cool!
Alas Andy, it's Tiago MONTEIRO, not Monterio...
I really hope Nissan is back with a vengence- now that they are beginning to get back highest level of motorsports I believe that exists (even above F1) Lemans- they need to rediscover there motorsports roots- Nissan has the GTR in the FIA GT1 championship and now needs to do what they did with the R30 GT1, In 1997, they learned, in 1998 the R390GT1 longtails got a 3rd place podium finish. If they would have continued pushing it im sure an over all win would have followed- same with Toyotas GT1 2nd place- look what happed with Mazdas 787B Renown- Victory for 1991.
Oops, thanks for the correction on the R391
Not to mention Nissan has history with the Skyline GTR LM in 1995 and 96- 5th place place in 1995 and a top ten finish. And dont forget the mighty 300ZX turbo in GTS class that Steve Millen and Johnny O'connell Piloted as well.
Well Toyota is also going to have a V8 in a sportscar this season. Honda is supposed to be preparing a coupe effort in conjunction with Wirth Research Seems the japanese are dipping their toes in the water, but will they take the plunge with all out factory efforts in 2012?
they need to lift the ban on rotaries for FIA/ACO rules so we can see some rotaries with some diesel battles.
There were also Nissan powered Courages at Le Mans in 1999
wish the i saw the group C cars all racing again....those where the days!
ummmm mc donalds!