Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

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Nissan – R390 GT1 (1998)

Details

Vehicle Type:
Coupé
Coach Builder:
TWR
Cylinders:
V8
Engine CC:
3496
Entrant
Erik Comas (CH)

Class E

Born for the Racetrack: “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday”

Nissan - R390 GT1
Class E72

The mission for Nissan was unambiguous. In 1997, the Japanese manufacturer wanted to line up at the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a modern GT1 racing car. The English specialist Tom Walkinshaw Racing – TWR for short – was enlisted as a partner to cooperate on the design. The contours of the body were defined in a wind tunnel, while designer Ian Callum placed the characteristic Nissan-sourced headlamps from the 300 ZX series model at the front as an aesthetic reminder of the marque. The 3.5 litre V8 that started life in the Group C era formed the basis for the power plant. Engine designer Tony Southgate developed this power unit further with a number of added features including a twin turbocharger.

A sequential six-speed manual transmission sent power of approximately 650 hp generated by the engine to the rear wheels, while electronic adjustment matched the torque to individual driving situations. After a number of technical problems during racing in 1997, all four R390 GT1 racers passed the finishing post in 1998. They took third, fifth, sixth and tenth place. This example from 1998 now has a street licence and is part of the collection of former racing driver and Le Mans competitor Erik Comas.

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