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This Is How Special Michelins Give An Edge To Nissan's LMP1 Car

Illustration for article titled This Is How Special Michelins Give An Edge To Nissans LMP1 Car

Those Michelins will have to work very hard on Nissan’s crazy Le Mans car. But what’s their secret?

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The front-wheel drive Nissan GT-R LM Nismo doesn’t seem to be faster than Audi’s, Porsche’s or Toyota’s LMP1 prototypes, but tire wear and grip in the wet can make or break a car during those 24 hours, and Nissan has a few tricks up its sleeve thanks to Michelin’s bespoke rubber.

The LM Nismo’s front tires are 14 inches wide to cope with the torque and having 65 percent of the weight on the front axle, while the rear ones are only 9 inches, which means they create less drag and can run in the dry line created by the wider front wheels in the wet.

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Nissan reckons they can save 24 seconds during each pit stop when they don’t need to change the tires, and their fronts should last for up to four stints while the rears will be good for at least six. They also believe that in the rain, the GT-R LM Nismo shall reign.

Will that be enough to compensate for Nissan’s lack of speed that we’ve seen so far? We’ll find out soon enough.

Also, how about those functional flames?

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Contact the author at mate@jalopnik.com.

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DISCUSSION

freddsterexprs
Fred (FreddsterExprs)

Nissan is going to fail spectacularly. It’s a 40 million $, three car project scattered around the globe against the 120 million $ each VAG works teams. Also, their hybrid system is apparently dysfunctional and only stores 2 MJ of energy and Nissan had a tenth of the test mileage the rest of the LMP1 field had.