Nissan has made it clear that their trio of GT-R LM Nismo cars is very much still a work in progress, however, there’s a penalty if that progress doesn’t fall within 110% of the fastest car’s qualifying time. All three Nissan LMP1s were too slow in qualifying, therefore, they start from the back of the Prototype grid.
Before the penalty was applied, the #23, #21 and #22 Nissan LMP1s qualified 13th, 18th and 22nd, respectively. Now, Racer reports that they will start 30th (#22), 31st (#23) and 32nd (#21). The only car behind the three Nissans is the Ibanez Oreca, as one of their drivers failed to meet the minimum qualifying time requirements for LMP2.
Nissan expects to keep making progress, as this is their first race for their entire team, and everyone is still adapting to the car at this point.
“Every time we make a change to the car, we go faster – Harry was on course to do a 3m35s when he got a yellow flag at the end,” Cox told Autosport, as reprinted by Racer. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we do our fastest lap of the race at 2:30pm on Sunday afternoon, depending on the conditions.”
Cox maintains that he’s not disappointed in the car’s slow performance thus far. He looks at Le Mans like a long test, as the only way to really seat time in at Le Mans is to enter the 24 Hour race itself.
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