Nissan's Le Mans challenger the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO made its race debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours at the weekend.
Such is the scale of the challenge to enter the top endurance class, Nissan set a target of getting one of its three cars to the finish of the 24-hour race.
The #22 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO of Harry Tincknell, Michael Krumm and Alex Buncombe took the chequered flag at 15:00hrs on Sunday afternoon after battling against the odds to complete the greatest race in the world.
For the first ten hours of the race, the three GT-R LM NISMOs racked up the miles, all completing over 100 laps of the 13.629km Le Mans circuit in that time. The race was certainly not without drama for the #22 car, which had to contend with regular teething problems but also being hit by debris. The biggest 'moment' for that car came just nine hours into the race when Tincknell ran into a large piece of debris whilst hurtling towards Indianapolis Corner at 211mph.
Tincknell said: "We ran the entire race making sure we were mechanically sympathetic so we could rack up the miles and finish Le Mans. I certainly didn't expect to hit a massive lump of 'something' that was right in the middle of the racing line.
"The car was feeling good at that time too so it was a real shame to have to come in with damage and lose a chunk of time. We had struggled a bit in the early part of the race but I managed to immediately pick off seven or eight P2 cars and then concentrated on bringing the car home in one piece."
The Le Mans 24 Hours is a huge challenge for any manufacturer and making a race debut at Le Mans requires Herculean effort. The Nissan NISMO team worked non-stop since the car first took to the track at the end of 2014. The car is still in the infancy stage of its development but the team fought to keep the cars on the track.
Darren Cox of Nissan, added: "I am feeling very proud of the whole team right now. For sure we have had problems but that's what happens when you innovate. Our engine is strong and we were able to quickly fix the other problems that we had. We have learnt an incredible amount at Le Mans and our battles will only make us stronger.
"Most LM P1 manufacturers don't finish Le Mans at their first attempt so it was important for us to hit this target. The guys in the garage are the heroes this weekend and the drivers have all done an incredible job, sometimes in very difficult circumstances. They needed physical and mental strength in equal measure this weekend and every one of the nine delivered for us. We have done exactly what we needed to do. We dug in, we solved our problems, we exploited the limits of our current performance and we finished the Le Mans 24 Hours."