Nissan to race with retro livery on Le Mans LMP1 car

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Nissan has confirmed that it will run one of its three LMP1 entries for the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans in a retro livery to celebrate to the Japanese marque’s pole position at the race 25 years ago.

The no. 24 Nissan R90CK claimed pole position at the Circuit de la Sarthe back in 1990 at the hands of Mark Blundell with what is widely regarded as being one of the greatest ever qualifying laps in the history of the event.

Although the car was forced to retire after 142 laps, it made enough of an impression to go down in Le Mans folklore and be worth celebrating for Nissan at this year’s race as it makes its return.

Two of the three Nissan NISMO LMP1 cars will run in their planned red livery, but the no. 21 piloted by Tsugio Matsuda, Lucas Ordonez and Mark Shulzhitskiy is set to take part in the race sporting the iconic white and blue design of the R90CK car from the Group C era.

“Our racing heritage is hugely important to us,” Nissan NISMO chief Darren Cox said. “Our 1998 car hangs on the wall at NISMO HQ in Yokohama as a reminder of our Le Mans podium and the blue liveries of the Group C and IMSA era of the 80s and 90s are a firm favourite with the fans.

“When we first started talking about the possibility of a third car livery specifically for our LMP1 debut at Le Mans this year, this was the one that fans across our social media channels called for. It’s a great way to celebrate our past achievements at such a key moment in our current motor racing history.”

Nissan will make its long-awaited return to the premier class of endurance racing at Le Mans next month, which is also set to mark its debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Valtteri Bottas fastest in Friday F1 practices for Russian Grand Prix

F1 Sochi Valtteri Bottas
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SOCHI, Russia — Valtteri Bottas paced both F1 practices Friday for the Russian Grand Prix on Friday as Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was slowed by damaged tires in the first session.

Bottas turned a fast lap of 1 minute, 33.519 seconds in the second session that bettered Hamilton’s 1:33.786.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was more than a second behind Bottas in third at 1:34.577, followed by the McLaren Racing duo of Carlos Sainz Jr. (1:34.723) and Lando Norris (1:34.847).

In the first F1 session at Sochi, Valtteri Bottas set the pace with a time of 1 minute, 34.923 seconds, beating Ricciardo by half a second. Max Verstappen was third quickest in his Red Bull, a further 0.147 back.

Hamilton could only manage 19th fastest after locking up his tires and leaving them with a flat spot. Ferrari again struggled to find pace with Sebastian Vettel ninth and Charles Leclerc 11th.

HISTORY IN SIGHTLewis Hamilton aims to tie Michael Schumacher’s record

The first session was briefly red-flagged when Nicholas Latifi crashed his Williams. Carlos Sainz Jr. spun his McLaren backward into a barrier and broke off his rear wing.

Verstappen spun during the second session but avoided damage to his car.