Marc Gene likely to return to Nissan LMP1 later in WEC season

Former grand prix driver Marc Gene is likely to return to Nissan's World Endurance Championship line-up this season, despite stepping down into an advisory role for next month's Le Mans 24 Hours

Marc Gene likely to return to Nissan LMP1 later in WEC season

Nissan global motorsport boss Darren Cox insisted that the Spaniard had an ongoing agreement with the Japanese manufacturer that would involve him driving the GT-R LM NISMO again.

"It was a joint decision and Marc remains fully supportive of the programme," said Cox.

"Marc will be in the garage with the cans on at Le Mans and he has just sent me a long debrief with his comments from the last test that he did with us."

Asked if Gene would drive the GT-R LM NISMO over the second leg of the WEC, Cox replied: "That is the plan and he will certainly be testing with us for Le Mans next year, because he has so much experience."

Cox revealed that Gene's commitments with Ferrari - as a development driver and ambassador - had played a part in the decision because they limited his mileage in the GT-R LM.

"He is so busy and we have had to move the test programme around, so he hasn't been able to get in the car as much as he wanted," Cox said.

ANALYSIS: Can back-to-front work for Nissan?

Nissan's driver line-up for the five WEC races after Le Mans has yet to be set in stone.

"We have said that the driver line-up we have announced is for Le Mans only," explained Cox

"We will take a breath afterwards and see how everyone has done; we have had some big surprises in testing."

Cox said that the six drivers who would race its two full-season WEC entries would be taken from the 10 who have so far tested the GT-R, with the likely exception of the Fuji round in October.

"Maybe in Japan we will see Ronnie [Quintarelli, Super GT co-champion last year with NISMO] and [long-time Nissan driver Satoshi] Motoyama-san driving," he continued.

It is likely that Olivier Pla, Harry Tincknell and Max Chilton, who signed with Nissan for this season, will do all the races, Cox confirmed.

The other six drivers in the three GT-R LMs for Le Mans all had existing contracts with Nissan.

shares
comments
Ex-F1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella rejoins AF Corse for Le Mans
Previous article

Ex-F1 driver Giancarlo Fisichella rejoins AF Corse for Le Mans

Next article

Porsche completes final endurance simulation before Le Mans 24 Hour

Porsche completes final endurance simulation before Le Mans 24 Hour
Why the WEC should make space for modern garagistes in 2023 Plus

Why the WEC should make space for modern garagistes in 2023

OPINION: There is plenty of excitement over the glut of manufacturers tackling the Hypercar class of the World Endurance Championship this season. The selection committee is set to face headaches over who it decides to admit and who gets turned away from the 2023 entry list, but history tells us that the smaller entrants have a place

WEC
Jan 9, 2023
Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022 Plus

Autosport writers' most memorable moments of 2022

The season just gone was a memorable one for many of our staff writers, who are fortunate enough to cover motorsport around the world. Here are our picks of the best (and in some cases, most eventful) from 2022

Formula 1
Dec 31, 2022
Is Qatar the price motorsport fans have to pay? Plus

Is Qatar the price motorsport fans have to pay?

OPINION: Fresh from hosting a controversial 2022 football World Cup, Qatar has added its name to the 2024 World Endurance Championship calendar. Although questions may be asked about its presence on the calendar, is it simply the price to pay for having a healthy racing championship?

WEC
Dec 21, 2022
How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title Plus

How Toyota defeated Alpine for the 2022 WEC title

Toyota #8 trio Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa outscored their rivals in the last season before the World Endurance Championship’s top class gets ultra-competitive. Here's how their Hypercar battle with Alpine and the remaining class tussles played out in LMP2, GTE Pro and GTE Am

WEC
Dec 5, 2022
The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age Plus

The long road to convergence for sportscar racing's new golden age

The organisers of the World Endurance Championship and IMSA SportsCar Championship worked together to devise the popular new LMDh rule set. But to turn it from an idea into reality, some serious compromises were involved - both from the prospective LMDh entrants and those with existing Le Mans Hypercar projects...

IMSA
Nov 25, 2022
How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game Plus

How Porsche's Le Mans legend changed the game

The 956 set the bar at the dawn of Group C 40 years ago, and that mark only rose higher through the 1980s, both in the world championship and in the US. It and its successor, the longer-wheelbase 962, were voted as Autosport's greatest sportscar in 2020 - here's why

WEC
Aug 25, 2022
Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes Plus

Why BMW shouldn't be overlooked on its return to prototypes

OPINION: While the focus has been on the exciting prospect of Ferrari vs Porsche at the Le Mans 24 Hours next year, BMW’s factory return to endurance racing should not be ignored. It won't be at the French classic next year as it focuses efforts on the IMSA SportsCar Championship, but could be a dark horse in 2024 when it returns to La Sarthe with the crack WRT squad

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2022
The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause Plus

The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause

Track limits are the problem that motorsport doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. But the use of so-called 'sausage kerbs' as a deterrent has in several instances only served to worsen the problem, and a growing number of voices want to see action taken

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2022