Nissan Gears up for Le Mans11:30:00 AM
Olympic cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy is ready for his 24 Hours of Le Mans debut after completing a successful day behind the wheel at the annual Le Mans Test Day yesterday at Circuit de la Sarthe.
Hoy will drive in the LM P2 class in his 24 hour debut alongside Renault-Nissan Alliance athlete Andrea Pizzitola and British racer Mike Munemann for Algarve Pro Racing aboard their Nissan-powered Ligier.
The 2015 European Le Mans Series LM P3 class champion completed 30 laps / 408.88 kilometers around the legendary Le Mans circuit as he prepares to become the first-ever Summer Olympic Medallist to compete in the classic French endurance race.
"The car didn't miss a beat. The track was pretty green and slippery out there early in the session but even so I was really pleased with my lap times and I was able to chip away and get quicker and quicker," Hoy said.
"It is great to get back on this track - it is such an amazing circuit. Looking forward to the race weekend I'm really not focussed on the results, I'm just trying to do the best job I can.
"Whenever I'm in the car I'm driving to the absolute limit of my abilities - not beyond it - and trying to finish the race. It is such a challenge to just survive the race. I'm really not thinking beyond just trying to do my job.
"As soon as you start thinking about winning or getting on the podium it just distracts you from what you are trying to do."
After becoming the most successful British Olympian ever in 2012 in London, Hoy retired from cycling the following year and began to focus on his “hobby” behind the wheel.
Hoy scored a podium in his debut season and graduated to the European Le Mans Series last year in the new Nissan-powered LM P3 prototype class.
Hoy scored victories in three of the first four races with Team LNT in a Nissan-powered Ginetta with co-driver Charlie Robertson to clinch the LM P3 driver’s title.
Hoy, Pizzitola, Munemann and the Algarve Pro squad are scheduled for the 24 Hour of Le Mans admin checks (2:50pm) and scrutineering (3:30pm) on Monday, June 13 before hitting the track for the first time on Wednesday, June 15.
NISSAN TEAMS DOMINATE LM P2 CLASS AT LE MANS TEST DAY
Le Mans, France – Nissan and NISMO dominated the LM P2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans test day, filling 19 of the top 20 spots on the timesheet today.
Nissan will power 33 percent of the entire grid at Le Mans this year and today those 4.5 litre, 450 horsepower engines completed 1,431 laps of the Circuit de la Sarthe circuit - a total of 19,503 kilometres across the two x four hour sessions.
French ace Tristan Gommendy topped the times for Eurasia Motorsport aboard their Nissan-powered Oreca chassis.
The Signatech Alpine squad was second fastest today ahead of the G-Drive Racing No.26 Oreca entry.
Nissan's back-to-back Super GT Championship-winning ace Tsugio Matsuda returned to Le Mans yesterday to prepare to race with last year's LM P2 race winners KCMG.
Matsuda has made three previous race starts with KCMG, finishing second at Silverstone in 2014 and winning at Circuit of the Americas in the FIA World Endurance Championship the same season.
NISSAN AIMING TO CLOSE LM P2 ERA WITH ANOTHER VICTORY AT LE MANS
Le Mans, France – Nissan has been the dominant force in the LM P2 class since its debut in 2011 and the form of the NISMO-powered teams so far in 2016 continues to demonstrate that performance advantage.
The 2016 season will be the final year of competition for the VK-spec power plant with new LM P2 regulations kicking off a one-make engine formula next season.
Since making its debut at Sebring International Raceway at the opening round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Challenge, Nissan has won 61 out of 66 races in the ILMC, FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series - a staggering 92 per cent win rate.
Last season Nissan swept the FIA WEC championship with G-Drive Racing, the European Le Mans Series with Greaves Motorsport and took its fourth 24 Hours of Le Mans win with KCMG.
So dominant has the Nissan engine become in the FIA WEC, every team entered in the LM P2 class in 2016 has chosen NISMO-power.
In addition to the 20 cars lining up on the grid for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nissan will also power all 22 LM P3 prototypes taking part in the "Road to Le Mans" support race scheduled for Saturday morning prior to the green flag for the 24 Hour.
24 Hours of Le Mans Test Day
Japanese Formula 3 Championship, Suzuka, Japan
24 Hours of Le Mans Scrutineering
24 Hours of Le Mans
Australian Supercars, Hidden Valley, Darwin, Northern Territory
Nissan Micra Cup, Autodrome St-Eustache, Quebec, Canada
Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, Circuit Paul Ricard, France
Pirelli World Challenge, Road America, WI, USA