Nissan's IMSA SportsCar Championship DPi presence set to end

The Nissan DPi is set to exit the IMSA SportsCar Championship field following CORE autosport's decision to cease its programme at the end of 2019

Nissan's IMSA SportsCar Championship DPi presence set to end

CORE had stepped up from the one-make LMPC division to the then-unified Prototype class in 2018 with an ORECA LMP2, with team founder Jon Bennett and driving partner Colin Braun winning two races at Mosport and Road America en route to second in the standings behind Action Express Racing duo Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran.

Having originally planned to stay in the newly-separated LMP2 division, the team made a late decision to take over the Nissan DPi project in 2019 after Extreme Speed Motorsport, which ran the Nissan Onroak DPi in 2017-18, closed its doors.

But Braun and Bennett have struggled for competitiveness so far this season, having taken a best result of fourth in the season-opening Daytona 24 Hours where they were joined by Romain Dumas and Loic Duval.

Bennett announced ahead of this weekend's GT-only IMSA round at Virginia International Raceway that he was stepping down from driving duties.

He wrote: "The 2019 Petit Le Mans will be my last race in a DPi. In fact, I have no racing plans of any kind in the near future.

"But, for those who know the power of being passionate, I will leave the door slightly ajar.

"The obvious question is why? The time has simply come for me. I have lived the dream of so many who are passionate about motorsport and it's time to reflect and enjoy racing, once again, from outside the racecar."

The announcement is likely to signify the end of Nissan's presence in IMSA's top class.

Its arrangement with ESM had been closer to a pseudo-customer deal than a full factory supported entry, and it is understood to have shown little interest in supporting CORE's effort.

CORE will continue to operate Porsche's GT Le Mans programme next year with the all-new 911 RSR-19, which will make its race debut in the World Endurance Championship curtain raiser at Silverstone next weekend.

shares
comments
W Series race winner Powell set to make IMSA debut in GTD class NSX
Previous article

W Series race winner Powell set to make IMSA debut in GTD class NSX

Next article

Mazda IMSA SportsCar turnaround wasn't a "sudden" quick fix - Holt

Mazda IMSA SportsCar turnaround wasn't a "sudden" quick fix - Holt
Load comments
How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts Plus

How the next step in the IMSA and WEC convergence can reunite multiple fronts

OPINION: Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why IMSA glory for Mazda would be a bittersweet ending Plus

Why IMSA glory for Mazda would be a bittersweet ending

Mazda believes it has never had a better chance of clinching the title in IMSA's Prototype division. Achieving this goal would be the bittersweet culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit

IMSA
Apr 11, 2021
The groundbreaking new boss leading GM's sportscar assault Plus

The groundbreaking new boss leading GM's sportscar assault

After taking over Corvette Racing from long-time custodian Doug Fehan, 34-year-old Laura Wontrop Klauser is leading General Motors through a transitional phase in sportscar racing. Here’s how she got into her dream role and what she plans to do with it

IMSA
Mar 21, 2021
Nine things to look out for at the 2021 Daytona 24 Hours Plus

Nine things to look out for at the 2021 Daytona 24 Hours

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Plus

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitter Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Plus

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories

IMSA
Jan 28, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Plus

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Autosport to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020
When Porsche became a giant-killer Plus

When Porsche became a giant-killer

In the first of a new series celebrating underdog achievements from the annals of motorsport history, we revisit the 2015 Petit Le Mans - where a tyre advantage in appallingly wet conditions helped the GT cars overcome the prototypes

IMSA
Apr 15, 2020