This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
NISSAN R90


The one that got away


Nissan’s R90 programme was the Japanese manufacturer’s best chance to win Le Mans. Only it didn’t…


and Europe after several years of working with March Engineering. Andy Scriven, who had previously worked on the design of the successful TWR Jaguar Group C racecars, was recruited by Lola as the chief designer for the new project, while existing Lola men, Clive Cooper and Clive Lark, were respectively responsible for CAD design, bodywork and mechanical design. Lola Cars founder, Eric Broadley, was also involved in


F www.racecar-engineering.com • Le Mans


or 1989, Nissan forged a new partnership with Lola Cars for its Sportscar racing programmes in Japan


BY ALAN LIS


various aspects of the project. Some sources suggest


that Nissan only became fully engaged in the World Sports Prototype Championship (WSPC) in 1989 to meet FISAs stipulation that only manufacturers and teams running in all the rounds of the WSPC would be allowed to race in the all-important Le Mans 24 Hours. Not necessarily so, says Scriven: ‘Eric and Mike Blanchet [Lola’s commercial boss] had convinced Nissan that they were never going to have the success they were looking for


until they did the job properly and ran a full programme, and that while Lola could build them a car with the potential to win at Le Mans, they had to run it and run it.’ From the beginning of design


work to the first car on its wheels it took only about four months. When Scriven arrived at Lola in late September 1988 a start had already been made on the design of the car – decisions had been taken on the location of the water radiator and intercoolers and the shape of the greenhouse. It had also been decided that the car would have a full-width


monocoque, like the TWR Jaguars. The pressure was then on to have the car ready for testing by the end of January.


AERO INTERACTION The wind tunnel test programme, which used a third-scale model, was carried out at Cranfield University. ‘We had two configurations for the car – low drag for Le Mans and high downforce for everywhere else,’ explains Scriven. ‘Since we had roughly 12 days of testing, which was a lot in those days, there were a lot of parts and configurations tested. We did


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86