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The electric-powered Nissan ZEOD RC will first be seen in action when the car makes its public on-track debut at this year’s Fuji Speedway round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Running in pure electric mode, the Nissan ZEOD RC will undertake demonstration runs on October 18, 19 and 20 – all three days of the Japanese round of the WEC.
The ZEOD RC (Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car) will make its race debut at next year’s Le Mans 24 Hour. Nissan said it will trial variants of new electric drive train technologies as part of its intended future return to LMP1 competition to challenge for overall victory.
Nissan’s two-time Japanese SUPER GT champion Michael Krumm will drive the car at Fuji. Krumm was part of the driver line-up for Nissan ZEOD RC’s predecessor, the Nissan DeltaWing program in 2012, and also finished third in the LMP2 class this year at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
“I’m totally thrilled at the opportunity to drive the Nissan ZEOD RC at Fuji,” Krumm said. “Last year’s WEC round at Fuji was a great success, and I am sure this year will be even bigger. Giving the fans in Japan the chance to see the Nissan ZEOD RC run for the first time will be fantastic. It is certainly going to be a very unique experience to go that fast with electric power – especially since Fuji’s main straight is nearly a mile long. Fuji Speedway is such an historic venue – it’s actually pretty fitting that the ZEOD RC will have its first public runs here because this car certainly has the opportunity to change motorsport history. We’re only doing a demonstration run but I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of top speed we’ll see on the straight.”
Nissan said the ZEOD RC will kick off its testing and development program soon in the UK with inaugural Nissan PlayStation GT Academy winner Lucas Ordóñez behind the wheel.
Ordóñez and Krumm were teammates at Le Mans this year where they scored third place in the LMP2 class with 2011 GT Academy winner, Jann Mardenborough.
“One of our goals with the Nissan ZEOD RC is to draw back the curtain for fans so they can see what goes on behind the scenes in the development of such a unique race car,” said Nissan’s Global Motorsport Director, Darren Cox. “As part of that philosophy, we thought it would be quite fitting that rather than just test behind closed doors, we give the fans the chance to see the car in action. To be able to do that at such a great venue like Fuji Speedway only 90 minutes away from the home of Nismo in Yokohama was too good to pass up. We’ll be on track with many of the cars from the WEC at Le Mans next year so our demonstration runs will also give us some initial comparison data as well.”
According to Nissan, after the Fuji events, the Nissan ZEOD RC will continue its development program in Europe with Lucas Ordóñez returning to the driver seat. The car is scheduled to make its race debut at next year’s Le Mans 24 Hour where it will occupy Garage 56 – an additional entry reserved by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest for cars using new and innovative technology not previously seen in the French endurance classic.
“Nissan has become a global leader in the development of zero emission automotive technology and the Nissan ZEOD RC will allow us to further develop those capabilities using the toughest endurance race in the world as a mobile test bed to test the potential of our planned LM P1 power train,” said Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President and Executive Committee member at Nissan Motor Company Limited. “The ZEOD RC program is designed to develop multiple technologies to evaluate how they could be used for a future LMP1 class return of Nissan at the Le Mans 24 Hour.”