Nissan should be praised, not hammered

(c) Nissan NISMO“Innovation That Excites.” Nissan’s slogan sums up its LMP1 project well, in that the innovation did excite fans of the sport.

Sadly for the Japanese company, excite was all it did. Troubled from the start, the GT-R LM NISMO made one race appearance, at Le Mans, before it was announced that it would no longer compete.

A front-engined, front-wheel drive car was always going to excite people around the sport. It was the complete opposite to the leading LMP1s of Porsche, Audi and Toyota.

But, simply put, it failed. Outqualified by the aforementioned teams plus the privateer LMP1s and most of the LMP2s, it was clear to see the team had a lot of work to do to be anywhere near the top step of the podium.

This, of course, is where they want to be.

Rather than criticise Nissan for the shortcomings the car had, it should be praised for having the guts to do something completely different.

Motorsport involves innovation at the top level. The three factory LMP1 teams are always looking at ways to improve their cars, through innovation.

It goes without saying that none of them would have tried something like this. There is a reason, after all, why most racing cars are rear-engined, rear-wheel drive.

Something so different was always likely to have issues and, coupled with problems with its hybrid system, the project was always going to take time to get off the ground.

It is a shame that the project did not have time to deliver, but understandable. A poor car, 20 seconds off the pace of other manufacturers, was always likely to mean the chop eventually.

But the innovation should be praised, even if the result was poor.


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