And there you sat, happy in the assumption that racing at an old French circuit is as simple as strapping a powerful engine into a carbon fibre tub, inserting a racing driver and crossing your fingers? Well, Nissan’s LMP1 team can tell you that actually no, that’s very much not the case.
You’ll know all about the monster, 1250bhp front-wheel-drive hybrid Le Mans Prototype, and if not, you should. Having failed a crash test in March, Nissan’s LMP1 campaign took a significant scheduling blow, which meant the GT-R LM couldn’t make its planned racing debut at Silverstone earlier this month.
Even worse, the team wouldn’t be heading to the pre Le Mans warm up at Spa on 2 May. This means the first time they’ll been running competitively in anger is at the Big One at Le Mans in June. For 24 hours. Flat out. Against Audi (13 wins), Porsche (16 wins), and Toyota (winners of the 2014 WEC championship). No pressure, then.
So as the team prepares for the final push ahead of the 24hr race, we caught up with Ben Bowlby - the genius behind the radical, front-wheel-drive, 1250bhp LMP1 contender - to talk about some of the challenges involved in making a front-wheel-drive, 1250bhp Le Mans Prototype last an entire da at practically full throttle…