Today marked the sad, sad death of the bold and wonderful front-engine Nissan LMP1 program, with many heaping on to call the whole thing a massive failure. But I love the Nissan LMP1 project, and I want to show there has been much worse.
It was John Dagys at Sportscar365 that got my brain going. They wrote that the no-hybrid, front-drive Nismo was “one of the biggest failures in modern-day sports car racing.”
I disagree with the sentiment there, but Dagys also mentioned a program I had nearly forgotten about that I think was significantly worse: the Aston Martin AMR-One.
Aston and Prodrive cooked up a new carbon chassis and a bespoke 2.0 liter turbocharged straight six to go along with it. The car was open-topped, unlike the rest of the field, and it ran on gasoline, again unlike the top runners at Audi and Peugeot.
The unconventional aero of the car was supposedly hopeless and the even more unconventional engine was a couple hundred horsepower down on its competitors.
Worse still, the car was terrifically unreliable. Aston entered two AMR-Ones in the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans. One car lasted two laps before retiring, and the other spent four hours in the pits and only managed four laps.
The program only ran two races before they were parked at Prodrive until they got repurposed by other teams.
It makes me wonder if there ever was an even less successful (or even shorter-lived) sports car racing program. I’m sure you have favorite failures, so post them below.
Photo Credits: Aston Martin
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