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Nissan GT-R LM won’t race at Silverstone
Bad news if you’re a fan of Nissan’s mad new GT-R LM racer - and let’s face it, who isn’t?
The LMP1 racer has failed a crucial crash test, which means that, due to the vagaries of homologation, it now won’t make its racing debut at Silverstone in three weeks’ time.
Unfortunately, there’s more. The GT-R LM is also unlikely to make it to the starting grid at Spa on 2 May, either, the team focusing all its efforts on getting as much testing done as possible before the main event - Le Mans, on 13-14 June.
There’s no way of prettying this up: this is a massive setback. FIA crash test regulations stipulate that there has to be 30 days between homologation being granted and the first race, and since the second crash test won’t happen until next week, that simply doesn’t leave enough time for the GT-R LM to hit its scheduled competitive debut on the 12 April.
The fix necessary to get the car through the crash test isn’t a big one apparently, just a bit of beefing up to the carbon front roll hoop. But it needs time, and that’s the one thing Nissan is running out of.
Although homologation should be in time to allow the car to race at Spa, it’s understood the team will also miss the second of the eight-round World Endurance Championship (WEC) calendar.
That means the GT-R LM will make its competitive debut at Le Mans. When it has to run flat out for 24 hours. It’s a big ask for an unproven - and radically different - racer.
If there’s a silver lining to the Nissan’s current woes, it’s that without the need to travel to both Britain and Belgium for the early races, it can focus on testing, testing, testing. Which might, ironically, give the GT-R LM a better chance at Le Mans…