Nissan and NISMO announce 2019 motorsports programs
Formula E, Super GT racing among highlights
YOKOHAMA, Japan (11 February, 2019) – Formula E and Super GT racing will be among the highlights of Nissan and NISMO’s 2019 motorsports activities, along with the GT3 competition and the supply of engines to prototype sports cars.
Nissan and Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd. announced the plans today at an event in Yokohama. The event also featured an opportunity for fans to meet this season’s Super GT driver lineup.
The ongoing season five of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship is Nissan’s first. Nissan is also the first Japanese company to join the all-electric street racing series.
The company is using Formula E to showcase the performance side of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, its vision for changing the way cars are driven, powered and integrated into society. Nissan has used its years of experience developing and manufacturing the Nissan LEAF – the world’s best-selling electric car – to create a new powertrain package for its Formula E car, including a new electric motor, inverter and gearbox and software.
Nissan’s Sebastien Buemi is the only driver to qualify in the top four in every race this season, most recently claiming the team’s first-ever Formula E pole position in Santiago, Chile. The team heads to Mexico City for the next round of the championship, on Feb. 16.
“Our Formula E program brings together Nissan’s world-leading experience in electric cars, NISMO’s 30-plus years of motorsports engineering innovation, and the championship-winning Formula E expertise of our racing partner e.dams,” said Michael Carcamo, Nissan’s global motorsports director. “It’s giving Nissan valuable experience and data that will help us build even better electric cars for our customers.”
Super GT GT500
Nissan and NISMO have committed to strengthening their competitiveness in the Super GT GT500 class and recapturing the series championship. To that end, they’ve carried out a significant review of hardware and software.
Motohiro Matsumura, NISMO’s chief operating officer, will assume the role of executive director for the Nissan teams. Toshikazu Tanaka, corporate vice president of NISMO, will become team principal of NDDP Racing. Satoshi Motoyama, who competed in GT500 for 22 years and took home three series championships along with 16 wins for Nissan and NISMO, will support Matsumura as an executive adviser.
The team structures are:
Masahiro Hasemi will retire from serving as a GT500 team principal and will become an honorary member of NISMO.
Enhancements to the 2019-spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 include improvements to the balance of aerodynamic performance, a review of weight distribution, increased engine output and power curve optimization.
“Nissan and NISMO hope to share the joy of motorsports with fans through the pillars of Formula E and Super GT,” said Takao Katagiri, NISMO’s president and chief executive officer. “In Formula E, we will take full advantage of NISMO’s accumulated motorsports know-how and pour our resources into supporting Nissan and e.dams. In Super GT, in order to move on from last year’s disappointments and retake the crown, I hope our four teams will come together to meet the expectations of our fans under our new executive director.”
Customer racing programs
Customer racing – GT3 program
This season, Nissan and NISMO welcome Kondo Racing to the list of official partner teams in addition to KCMG and Gainer. NISMO will supply Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 cars and provide technical assistance to even more teams.
Intercontinental GT Challenge
The Intercontinental GT Challenge, featuring major GT3 competitors, includes the Bathurst 12 hours in Australia, the California 8 hours, the Spa 24 hours in Belgium, the Suzuka 10 hours in Japan and the 9 hours of Kyalami in South Africa. KCMG will participate with two 2018-spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 cars.
24 Hours of Nurburgring
Two 2018-spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 cars from KCMG and one from Kondo Racing will compete at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring in Germany, from June 22 to 23, 2019.
For Kondo Racing, several technical staff members from NISMO Performance Centers will serve as race mechanics and assist with vehicle maintenance alongside Kondo Racing’s professional race mechanics. The centers are Nissan dealers where NISMO road cars and parts are on display, staffed with authorized mechanics known as “NISMO Meisters.”
Super GT GT300 class
Kondo Racing will be a new entry as a GT3 official partner team, in addition to two 2018 models that will compete for Gainer, continuing their efforts from last year. Tomei Sports and X Works will also race using the 2018 model GT-R, while NILZZ Racing will drive a 2015 model GT-R. Six Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 cars will compete in total.
For the past seven years, Kondo Racing has conducted a human resource development project through the Super Taikyu Series, involving students from the Nissan Automobile Technical College. This year, the project is switching to the GT300 class. Rebranded as the Nissan Mechanic Challenge, the expanded project involves not only students but also dealer technical staff.
Super Taikyu Series (Japan)
Several Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 cars will compete in the Super Taikyu Series ST-X class.
Customer racing – engine supply program
Nissan and NISMO will continue to supply racing engines to prototype cars and to provide technical assistance. In the IMSA Daytona Prototype International class, they will supply VR38 engines to CORE Autosport. In addition, they will provide one-make VK50 engines to LMP3 class entrants.
Other racing programs
In Canada, a Micra one-make race will be held as the Micra Cup. This series is entering its fifth year and will consist of six events and 12 races.
Super Taikyu Series (Japan)
Nissan Fairlady Z NISMO RCs are set to compete in the ST-3 class of the Super Taikyu Series in Japan, with NISMO again providing technical support.
NISMO Driving Academy (Japan)
To connect with motorsports and road car users, the NISMO Driving Academy will continue to be held for NISMO road car, R35 GT-R and Fairlady Z owners (16 times in total).
NISMO Festival (Japan)
This annual fan appreciation event will be held Dec. 8 at Fuji Speedway.