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  Nissan R88C

  Article Image gallery (26) 87G-3 Specifications User Comments (1)  
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Country of origin:Japan
Produced in:1988
Numbers built:4 (upgraded R86 and R87 chassis)
Predecessor:Nissan R87E
Successor:Nissan R89C
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:June 20, 2014
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Click here to download printer friendly versionApparently the new engine was blamed for the poor results and the Nismo engineers were sent back to the drawing boards. The result was the VRH30, which had similar specifications as the VEJ30 but only the crankshaft design was carried over. Again fitted with IHI turbos, the new V8 engine was good for over 750 bhp in race trim. No new tubs were ordered from March as quietly the ties between the two companies were severed. Two of each the 86G and 87G chassis were adapted to fit the VRH30 engine. Among the mechanical modifications was a lengthening of the wheelbase. For the first time Nismo worked on the cars aerodynamics as well and developed a new body in the wind-tunnel. The latest Nissans were dubbed the R88C.

The Japanese team seemed to have learned from their mistakes and entered the new cars in more races before Le Mans. Unfortunately the results were far from encouraging. Nissan's presence in the big 24-hour race consisted of two new works entered R88Cs as well as two privately fielded V6 engined machines. Three years into the program little had changed as the cars were still well off the pace of the leading Jaguars and Porsches. The reliability was still poor as well as only one of the R88Cs made it to the finish, 50 laps down on the winning Jaguar. In the Japanese championship one of the R88Cs managed to score back to back podium finishes but it was a very small consolation for another lost season.

After three disappointing seasons, drastic changes were made. In part, Nissan was forced to step up as entering the World Championship was now made mandatory to get an entry at Le Mans. A chassis deal was signed with Lola for brand new carbon-fibre moncoques and much of the operation was moved to Europe. For the new chassis a larger version of the V8 engine was developed, which ranked among the most powerful of the field. It helped Nissan claim pole at Le Mans in 1990 but reliability remained poor and in the end no victories were scored. Over their years in Group C, Nissan spent a big chunk of money but with no real results in return. Perhaps a better streamlined management could have made more of the vast resources available.

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  Article Image gallery (26) 87G-3 Specifications User Comments (1)