Nissan and NISMO announce 2021 motorsports programs
Formula E and Super GT continue as racing highlights for the coming year.
Nissan/NISMO will focus on the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and SUPER GT as the two main pillars of its motorsport activities. Additionally, as part of its customer racing programs, Nissan/NISMO will continue to provide support for teams using the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, other Nissan vehicles, and engines in their motorsport activities.
“Through motorsports, Nissan/NISMO will continue future oriented developments such as electrification technology and next-generation powertrain technology,” said Takao Katagiri, president and CEO of NISMO. “Even when the going gets tough, we will always take on new challenges with the aim of winning. Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause hardships globally, we will continue to do our best in various categories again this season to deliver excitement to our fans around the world.”
ABB FIA Formula E World Championship
After placing second in the teams championship last season, Nissan is ready to compete for its third year in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. The championship’s seventh season is set to kick off with a double-header night race in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia, on Feb. 26.
For Nissan, the all-electric street racing championship brings the excitement and fun of zero-emission electric cars to a global audience. High-performance EVs are a key part of Nissan’s effort to accelerate the integration of electric vehicles into society.
“We’re looking forward to competing in Formula E for our third consecutive season, to showcase our technology, our performance and the excitement of driving an EV,” said Tommaso Volpe, Nissan’s global motorsports director. “We achieved some strong results last year and, for season seven, we want to establish ourselves as a definite contender for the championship title. Developing EVs is part of Nissan’s DNA, so it's natural for us to be a part of this highly competitive all-electric series that is becoming more and more relevant for manufacturers and consumers alike, and to renew our commitment to it for the foreseeable future.”
Racing as Nissan e.dams in Formula E, the team is led by principals Olivier and Gregory Driot. Returning for their third season, Sebastien Buemi will continue to drive car #23 and Oliver Rowland will drive car #22.
Newly for season seven, the team has named car #22 after Nissan’s all-electric LEAF road car. Car #23 has been named after the Nissan Ariya all-electric crossover SUV, unveiled last July.
An exciting addition to the Nissan e.dams Formula E team for season seven is a new partner, DuPont.
“The ABB FIA Formula E World Championship showcases the very best in team performance and safety, while simultaneously shining a light on cutting-edge electric powertrain technology and the efficient performance it can achieve,” said John Richard, global vice president and general manager of DuPont Safety.
Tina Wu, vice president, Advanced Solutions, DuPont, added: “DuPont is perfectly positioned to partner with OEMs and suppliers to solve complex automotive challenges across the full spectrum with a core focus on solutions in safety, lightweighting, sustainability and efficiency. Our technical partnership with Nissan e.dams will enable us to continue developing the innovation and technical advances the industry needs to help fast-track solutions to passenger vehicles in the growing EV market.”
DuPont joins current Nissan e.dams partners Shell, Richard Mille, LEMO and CFI.
SUPER GT GT500 Class
Nissan/NISMO will develop the 2021-spec Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 and provide technical support to the following teams competing in the SUPER GT GT500 class.
SUPER GT GT500 class team structure
2021 specification vehicles
This will be the second year for the Class 1 regulation vehicles introduced last year. Since the aerodynamics were mainly frozen for development in 2021, Nissan/NISMO is working on weight reduction and component reliability in the areas where development is possible. Nissan/NISMO is improving the cylinder head area to increase thermal efficiency and improve power output, while enhancing running data adaptation for the vehicle to bring out its inherent characteristics and improve drivability. Nissan/NISMO also carried out more detailed setup tuning for each tire manufacturer to develop even more well-rounded vehicles for racing.
Customer Racing Programs
Customer Racing - GT3 Program
NISMO will continue to support teams competing with the FIA GT3 regulation NISSAN GT-R NISMO GT3.
SUPER GT GT300 Class
Once again this season, five Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s will be competing in the SUPER GT GT300 class: from the GT3 official partner teams, two from GAINER, and one from KONDO RACING. Also competing will be NILZZ Racing and RUNUP.
This season Nissan and KONDO RACING are pleased to announce the continuation of the "Nissan Mechanic Challenge," a human resource development program implemented through racing activities. The program – where students from the Nissan Automobile Technical College, and technical staff from sales companies participate – started with a program in the Super Taikyu Series in 2011. From 2019, it moved to the GT300 class where KONDO RACING won the series championship in 2020, its second year of competition in the category. This year marks the 10th anniversary since the start of the program, and as the defending champion, the entire team will be working together to aim even higher.
Super Taikyu Series
In the Super Taikyu Series, MP Racing and DAISHIN/GTNET are both scheduled to compete with one Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 in the ST-X class. NISMO will be providing technical support again this year.
In the ST-3 class, Okabejidosha motorsport and Max Racing are each scheduled to compete with a FAIRLADY Z NISMO RC.
Customer Racing - Engine Supply Program
Through Oreca, Nissan/NISMO will provide technical support and supply the VK56 engine, which conforms to the LMP3 regulations introduced in the 2020 season. The engine will be supplied to all teams competing in LMP3 class races around the world including:
- The European Le Mans Series
- Michelin Le Mans Cup and Ultimate Cup Series in Europe
- The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (which includes the 24 Hours of Daytona)
- The IMSA Prototype Challenge in North America and
- The Asian Le Mans Series (which will be held primarily in the UAE this season)
- Nissan Sentra Cup: A one-make racing series exclusive to Canada, it offers drivers with one of the most affordable ways to participate in motorsport. The Sentra Cup will launch in May this year.
- NISMO Driving Academy: To connect road car users with motorsports, the academy will hold driving lessons for NISMO road car, NISSAN GT-R and Fairlady Z users again this year. With Michael Krumm as the principal and NISMO contracted drivers as instructors, this activity is scheduled to be held at various circuits around Japan.
- NISMO Festival: In its 23rd year, this fan event is scheduled to be held at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture as in previous years. Formal event announcement pending.