Ask any bearded hipster and they’ll happily tell you that retro is obviously cool. This fact is seemingly not lost on motorsport teams, with Nissan choosing to clad one of the Le Mans GT-R racers in a colour scheme from 25 years ago.
Anyone who has played Gran Turismo series will recognise the blue, red and white colours as having adorned a number of previous Nissan Le Mans entrants. In particular, Nissan wants to remember the R90CK from 1990 – the car that took pole position at La Sarthe that year.
However, things didn’t go to plan for the #24 car driven by Mark Blundell, Julian Bailey and Gianfranco Brancatelli, and it retired after 142 laps. In fact, despite numerous efforts, Nissan has never managed to win at the French 24 hour race, with the best result being 3rd place in 1998 for the R390 GT1.
The GT-R LM NISMO is rather different to those historic racers using a (whisper it) front-wheel drive setup to transfer power from the 500hp twin-turbocharged V6 engine. So, is it more Juke NISMO than GT-R? Not really, when you consider the additional 750hp generated by a KERS twin-flywheel system is sent to the back wheels. So, in an unconventional way, it is actually AWD – like a Nissan GT-R.
As you can see, the #21 car has been festooned with the retro livery. Whether it’ll prove to be effective on track remains to be seen, but at least it’ll be looking cool. The old-skool R90CK will also make an appearance in a track parade to celebrate the passing of 25 years since that pole position. Expect more Le Mans news as we build up towards the big day in two weeks time.