Nissan doesn't compete in Formula One. It doesn't field a top-tier LMP1 team at Le Mans. It doesn't race in NASCAR, IndyCar or the World Rally Championship. Yet the Japanese automaker doesn't have to stretch all that far to make the association between its brand and racing. It does, after all, offer competition versions of its GT-R and 370Z for use in a number of sportscar racing series around the world. But where it really shines is in the LMP2 category.

Slotting just below LMP1s like the Audi R18, new Toyota TS030 and the lamentably departed Peugeot 908, LMP2 racers are purpose-built for endurance racing at Le Mans and related events, but tend to be fielded by privateer teams. And the vast majority of them opt for Nissan engines.

In fact, 11 out of the 18 LMP2 cars that will be on the grid at this year's running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will powered by the 3.4-liter VK-series V8 engine which Nismo (the company's motorsport division) developed specifically for this application. And in the broader FIA World Endurance Championship (running for the first time this year), six out of nine will be powered by Nissan – the rest using Honda, Judd or Lotus-prepared BMW engines.

With those kinds of odds, our money's on Nissan taking the prize once again. Follow the jump for the press release.
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Nissan is revved up for another powerful performance as 11 of the 18 LMP2 cars that have gained entries for the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours will be Powered by Nissan.

The LMP2 class of the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours was dominated by Nissan power. The winning Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan and Signatech's Oreca-Nissan in the runner-up spot flew the flag for the Japanese manufacturer at the blue riband endurance race.

This summer, 11 Nissan-powered cars will be going for glory at Le Mans, fighting against strong competition from Honda, Lotus and Judd-engined LMP2 cars.

Last year's winners, Greaves Motorsport, will run with the father-son combination of Martin and Alex Brundle, alongside first GT Academy winner and Le Mans podium finisher, Lucas Ordonez. Signatech Nissan will also be running a special line-up as the second GT Academy winner, Jordan Tresson, is making his Le Mans debut.

"Nissan showed last year that our Nismo-developed engine was the one to beat and the proof of this is that 11 cars are running with our power this year at Le Mans," said Darren Cox, General Manager, Nissan International SA. "The competition in LMP2 will step up a gear this year and this class could well see the fiercest battles being fought during the 24 hours. The competition and sheer duration of this race will provide an incredible test of endurance for Nissan."

The new-for-2012 FIA World Endurance Championship also has a healthy showing of Nissan-powered cars. Of the nine full season LMP2 entries, six will be Powered by Nissan.

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