The 2020 motorsports program was announced today during an annual fan event at the Nissan Gallery in Yokohama.
“Nissan and NISMO will continue to vigorously compete in motorsports this year, with Formula E and the new Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 efforts as the two main pillars,” said NISMO President and CEO Takao Katagiri. “We have multiple championships in our sights, and we look forward to success with many types of technologies and disciplines, all powered by the passion of our team members and fans.”
Nissan is amid its second season of competing in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. Nissan is using the all-electric street racing series to demonstrate the power and performance of its EV technology and to share the Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision with racing fans worldwide.
“Formula E continues to grow in popularity, attracting new fans to the thrilling world of electric motorsports” said Michael Carcamo, Nissan’s global motorsports director. “We’ve seen some incredibly close races so far this season, and as the only Japanese manufacturer in Formula E, we’re excited to showcase the fun and performance side of all-electric cars in every race.”
The Nissan e.dams team principals are Olivier and Gregory Driot. Returning as drivers are Sebastien Buemi (SUI), the winningest driver in Formula E history, driving car No. 23; and Oliver Rowland (GBR), who was named rookie of the year last season, in car No. 22.
Reserve and test driver Mitsunori Takaboshi (JPN), and simulator driver Jann Mardenborough (GBR) remain with the team and will participate in the test session after the Marrakesh E-Prix.
Super GT GT500
Nissan and NISMO will continue to compete in the Super GT series, with four teams and four Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 cars.
NISMO Chief Operating Officer Motohiro Matsumura will continue in the role of executive director for the Nissan teams, with Satoshi Motoyama and Michael Krumm serving as executive advisors to enhance the competitiveness of the Nissan teams.
As a vehicle that complies with Class 1 regulations commonly used with Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), the new 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 is being developed with several targets in mind that will make race teams more competitive: improved vehicle setups that optimize the performance of the newly introduced common suspension; improved new aerodynamic designs that generate stable, high downforce; and enhanced engine output from the new NR20B engine with an optimized power curve – all tune-able for a variety of tracks.
Customer racing programs
Customer racing GT3 program
NISMO will continue to provide technical support to teams competing with the FIA GT3 spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 in races held around the world, including in the Super GT GT300 class, the 24 Hours of Nurburgring and the Super Taikyu series.
Super GT GT300 class
Five Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s will participate in the Super GT GT300 class. The GT3 official partner team, Gainer, will continue to compete with two Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s, while the other GT3 official partner team, Kondo Racing, will be participating with one. Nilzz Racing and Tomei Sports will also use the GT-R GT3.
Continuing from last year, Kondo Racing will be implementing the Nissan Mechanic Challenge, a human resource development project that uses racing activities to cultivate students from the Nissan Automobile Technical College and sales company technical staff. The project began with participation in the Super Taikyu series and is entering its ninth year.
24 Hours of Nurburgring
Kondo Racing, taking on the 24 Hours of Nurburgring under a three-year plan, will compete there in the SP9 class, the top class of the race, for the second year in a row with the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3. The race in Germany takes place May 23-24. The team finished ninth last year and is aiming for even better this year.
Several technical staff from NISMO Performance Centers will again participate alongside professional race mechanics in the 24-hour race. The NISMO performance centers are Nissan dealerships where NISMO road cars and NISMO parts are always on display and that are staffed by authorized personnel called NISMO Meisters, who have received specialized training.
Super Taikyu series
In the Super Taikyu series, Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s are scheduled to participate in the ST-X class from MP Racing and Tairoku Racing with B-Max Engineering. The Fairlady Z NISMO RCs are scheduled to compete in the ST-3 class from Okabejidosha motorsport. Nissan and NISMO will continue to provide technical support.
Customer racing engine supply program
Nissan and NISMO will continue to supply racing engines and technical support for prototype cars. In addition to the VK50 engine that has been supplied since 2015 to teams participating in the LMP3 class races, a new VK56 engine – developed in accordance with the new LMP3 regulations to be introduced from the 2020 season – will be supplied this season through ORECA. The VK56 engine will be supplied to teams participating in European series this year, such as the European Le Mans Series and the Michelin Le Mans Cup.
Grassroots support and other activities
Nissan and NISMO will support the grassroots motorsports activities of Nissan racers where suitable through parts supply and technical support for participatory motorsports in Japan and overseas. Outside Japan, the one-make Micra Cup will continue to be held in Canada.
NISMO Driving Academy
The 4th season of NISMO Driving Academy for NISMO road cars, Nissan GT-Rs and 370Z owners will be held in Japan as an activity to connect road car owners with motorsports. This program, which sees Michael Krumm serve as the principal and NISMO contract drivers take the roles of instructors, will be held at circuits around Japan.
Marking its 23rd year, the NISMO Festival fan appreciation event will be held on Dec. 6 at Fuji Speedway in Japan.