So you’ve seen Nissan’s LMP1 car and you’re baffled. How does it work? Why does it look so different to Audi, Porsche and Toyota’s Le Mans cars? Why the heck is it front-wheel drive?
Well, Top Gear has got exclusive access to the project, so I’ve spent the last weekend at a test facility that’s so secret I’m not allowed to tell you anything about it other than that I flew into Atlanta, Georgia. The car, you’d imagine, would be equally off limits.
Uh, no. I sat in on team briefings, watched the gearbox being dismantled, talked to the drivers, Olivier Pla and Harry Tincknell, and was basically allowed to poke my nose into everything. This is Nissan’s strategy - they want to be entirely open. After all, who else is going to build a front-wheel drive Le Mans car?
So what I really wanted to do was ask Ben Bowlby what on earth he was playing at. Bowlby is the Team Prinicipal and Technical Director and, you might remember, the man responsible for the Deltawing and Nissan Zeod Le Mans projects. He has form in the wackier reaches of sports car racing.
So we stood around the car and he told me about it.
Pictures: Greg Pajo