I was sitting on my couch watching the halftime show of the 2015 NFL Super Bowl. Anyone that’s a fan of car racing had been told to hold their breath for a massive announcement by Japanese manufacturer Nissan, and it’s future racing car. So there I waited. And then it came. A multi million dollar ad aired on primetime during the US’s biggest sporting event which officially announced what we all had heard rumors of, and gave us a first glimpse of a race car unlike we had seen before. Different in every way. Nissan was going back to Le Mans after 15 years absence with a wild and radical front wheel drive, front engined monster.
Little did I think, and definitely didn’t expect, that I would get a call to be at Le Mans, my first time covering the famed 24 hour race (but not my first time attending) as one of the photographers telling the story of Nissan’s return to Circuit de la Sarthe. Did the project succeed? That is open to debate. The team successfully crossed the line with one of it’s 3 cars, and gained valuable track time and data for next year. But the car was plagued with problems and spent a huge amount of time in the pits. The mechanics worked a 60 hour shift to get the cars ready, and keep them running through the race. It was a monumental effort worth celebrating at the end of the race on Sunday. In many aspects, it was a success. But one that Nissan is being very humble about simply because the cars finished far from the front of the field. But that will come. The right ingredients exist for on track success.
So, without waxing on any further about the project, the car, the people involved in it, or anything else, I give you my selection of images from Nissan’s return to Le Mans.
I can’t thank Patrick, Chris, and the entire fantastic team at Nissan enough for their hospitality, laughs and general banter throughout the weekend. I couldn’t have imagined covering Le Mans this early in my career, much less working with such a large project at the highest level of motorsport. I am truly honored. I was only one very small part of this team and I strongly encourage you to check out Nissan’s Flickr page to see the entire selection that Patrick, Chris and I made over our week in France with Nissan.
All Images © Jamey Price / Nismo