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Nissan's Le Mans racer ZEOD to run full powerplant in Ricard test

Nissan's ZEOD RC experimental Le Mans 24 Hours racer will test for the first time on a race circuit with its full petrol-electric powerplant later this month.

A four-day test for the ZEOD has been scheduled for Paul Ricard starting on April 12, during which the car will run with both its new 400bhp direct-injection turbo engine and its electric motor and energy-retrieval system.

Nissan global motorsport boss Darren Cox told AUTOSPORT that he was confident that the car in its completed form would be able to achieve substantial mileage at Ricard.

"We wouldn't be booking a four-day test at Ricard if we weren't confident that we will be able to do some serious running," he said.

"We won't be doing a conventional endurance test, but we will aim to run as long as we can, fix any problems we encounter and then go again."

At the wheel of the Nissan ZEOD

Nissan GT Academy winners Lucas Ordonez and Wolfgang Reip, the first two confirmed drivers for the ZEOD, will drive at Ricard along with the third member of the Le Mans crew, who will be confirmed after the test.

Cox revealed that the car was running today [Thursday] at the Bruntingthrope proving ground with its full powerplant in place.

"We have run them together before, but we haven't done any serious mileage before," he said. "This is the first proper run for the full car."

The latest test follows the ZEOD's first proper run on a race track at Snetterton two weeks ago in petrol-only specification.

The ZEOD, which fills the Garage 56 grid spot at Le Mans reserved for a car showcasing new technology, will be driven by its petrol engine until the final lap of each stint before completing a full lap of the 8.47-mile Circuit de la Sarthe with only its electric powerplant engaged.

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