Nissan revealed today that the #21 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO with feature a special retro livery for its debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car will commemorate Nissan’s pole position at the same race in 1990. This is special because Mark Blundell qualified in first in the Nissan R90CK with a fantastic 3:27.020 lap of the famous French circuit.
The #21 will be Nissan’s third entry, and so won’t race for the remainder of the season, only Le Mans. It will be driven by reigning Super GT champion Tsugio Matsuda, and GT Academy winners Lucas Ordóñez and Mark Shulzhitskiy.
Furthermore, the #24 Nissan R90CK that this livery is remembering will also appear at Le Mans, in a special parade to mark the 25th anniversary of this special moment for the Japanese manufacturer, and will be driven by Mark Blundell himself.
“That lap of Le Mans is certainly a very fond memory for me,” said Blundell. “It was one of those moments where time stood still and everything went perfectly. You remember those moments as they don’t happen all that often! It’s great to see Nissan celebrating that time with the retro livery on the #21 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO. I can’t wait to see it on track at Le Mans.”
“Our racing heritage is hugely important to us,” explained Darren Cox, Global Head of Brand, Marketing & Sales for NISMO. “Our 1998 car hangs on the wall at NISMO HQ in Yokohama as a reminder of our Le Mans podium and the blue liveries of the Group C and IMSA era of the 80’s and 90’s are a firm favourite with the fans. So much so that when we first started talking about the possibility of a third car livery specifically for our LMP1 debut at Le Mans this year, this was the one that fans across our social media channels called for. It’s a great way to celebrate our past achievements at such a key moment in our current motor racing history.”
All three of Nissan’s Le Mans Prototype entries will be on track on Sunday for the official Le Mans Test Day. Le Mans rookies Alex Buncombe, Max Chilton and Tsugio Matsuda will all have to complete a minimum of 10 laps to allow them to race at the 24 Hours. They will do this in a Ginetta-Nissan LMP3 car, to allow the team to tune the LMP1 cars to the circuit at the same time. A second LMP3 car will be on track with Sir Chris Hoy behind the wheel.
The Nissan GT-R LM NISMO’s race debut will be the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 13/14.