The Nissan R89C is a sports car prototype of group C, which was established in 1989 by Lola for Nissan to participate in the World Sportscar Championship, All Japan Sports Prototype Championship and the 24-hour race at Le Mans. A total of four pieces were produced.
The R89C replaced the previously previous, built by March Engineering prototype series that Nissan had initially used. It was developed by Lola and had an existing Kevlar and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic monocoque chassis (with Lola under the internal name "T89/10"). The suspension consisted of front and rear axle of a double wishbone suspension with adjustable KONI shock absorbers and coil springs.
Nissan’s new 3.5 liter V8 DOHC engine with two turbochargers type VRH35Z was incorporated load-bearing for a higher chassis rigidity and performed in race trim 800 hp at 7600 revolutions per minute while he could reach a capacity of over 1000hp in qualifying. The VRH35Z was an evolution of the 3.0-liter V8 used in the previous years, type VRH30.
In the World Sportscar Championship (WSPC) 1989 Nissan had to fight to not only achieve an adequate reliability, but also a step forward with the new chassis and engine. Therefore, the R89C was able to score only three races that season ended but at least the fifth in the constructors’ world championship.
In the All Japan Sportscar Prototype Championship (JSPC) overtook the R89C the same fate because he could not keep up with its more advanced competitors Porsche and Toyota, so Nissan was third of the season.
In the 24-hour race at Le Mans in 1989 Nissan entered with three of the new racing car, supported by a privately entered R88C from the team Courage Compétition. In qualifying, only the courts could be 12, 15 and 19 is reached, the race has given an even worse result, since none of the three vehicles used reached the goal. Two R89C could not go to the end due to engine failure and a car accident due to a difference of damage.
1990 sent the Nissan R89C in the first race of the WSPC, until it was replaced by the models R90CK/R90CP. The R89C were sold to privateers and the Courage Compétition managed this year to occupy the 22th place in the 24-hour race at Le Mans with a former work-R89C.
Two R89C were developed for the 1990 season. Car # 02 was rebuilt for Nismo to R90CP while car # 03 has been upgraded by the private team Le Mans for R90V. He reached a sixth place, before it was withdrawn from the race.
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