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NISMO: NISSAN IN MOTORSPORTS TODAY In
addition to its ever presence in the digital space, Nismo is still
active, successful and innovative in real world motorsport. There
is no better illustration of the spirit of innovation than the Nissan
DeltaWing, a stunning experimental race car concept which features half
the weight, half the horsepower and half the aerodynamic drag of a
traditional Le Mans sports car. As a result, it uses half the fuel and
tyres of a conventional racer... Official
unveiled in March 2012, the car made its competitive debut at the Le
Mans 24-Hour Race three months later. It was entry number 56, a special
privilege reserved by the event organisers for vehicles featuring new
and innovative technologies. The DeltaWing certainly made headlines, in
part because it was unceremoniously barged into the tyre wall and out of
the famous endurance race by a rival before being able to fulfil its
full potential. Despite
the car's retirement, the weekend was a huge success not only for the
DeltaWing project, but also for Nismo. A quarter of all race entries
were running with Nismo engines and in the LMP2 class they powered more
than half of the competing cars. Team
DeltaWing was not disheartened after Le Mans and in October its hard
work was rewarded. At the gruelling 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans race in
Atlanta, the final round of the ALMS season, the DeltaWing achieved its
first ever race finish. Despite being hit again by a rival during
practice, and despite starting from the back of the grid of 42 cars
because it was an unclassified entry, the car eventually took a
tremendous fifth place overall. At one point it was as high as third,
and driver Gunnar Jeannette completed a quadruple stint without needing
to change tyres - proving the true potential of this amazing design. The
same weekend Nismo confirmed two new key appointments to its racing
programme, highlighting just how important competitive success is to
Nissan's future plans on and off the track. Darren
Cox, one of the driving forces behind the DeltaWing, was appointed as
Director, Global Motorsports covering strategy and marketing. He will
also be the global driver of the company's numerous racing programmes,
including the SuperGT Championship in Japan and the V8 Supercar series
in Australia. The
second appointment saw Jerry Hardcastle appointed as Technical Director
for Nissan's Motorsport Programmes. He continues in his role as Chief
Marketability Officer for Nissan, and also technical liaison for
Infiniti - Nissan's global luxury brand - as a key partner to the
Infiniti Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team. Illustrating
just how important Europe is for Nismo, both Darren and Jerry will be
based at Nissan Technical Centre Europe (NTCE) at Cranfield, UK. Nissan's
mainstream motorsport programme is focused on the stunning GT-R Nismo
GT3, for both works and privateer customer teams. During 2012 it
competed in many race series across the globe and secured numerous
victories. It outperformed the competition at Japan's SUPER GT series
(GT 300 class) and Super Taikyu (GT3 class), as well as the British GT
Championship and GT Cup. Its
replacement is the 2013 Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3, which has been developed
using data and feedback from last season to enhance its competitiveness
and performance. It's
still powered by a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 engine developing 405kw
(550PS) and 637Nm of torque. However, significant improvements have been
made to engine performance and durability, aerodynamics, brake balances
and suspension. The car's gear ratios have also been revised to
optimise the engine output increase. The car is built to customer order and is priced at €335,000. An upgrade pack is available for owners of the 2012 car.
 
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