Marc Gene will lead Nissan’s attack at the 2015 Le Mans in the Japanese manufacturer’s new GT-R LM NISMO car.
The former University of Buckingham student is the first driver to be announced by Nissan as part of their new squad for the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship.
Winner of the Le Mans 24-Hour Race in 2009 for Peugoet, Gene came close to winning the race last year for Audi Sport, only for his car to develop problems while leading just three hours from the chequered flag.
Gene’s Le Mans career started in 2007 when he made his debut in the classic French race for Peugeot, and every year since he has led the race at some point.
The 40-year-old said: “I am very excited to be part of this Nissan project. I am delighted to drive for Nissan and be competing with the GT-R LM in the most prestigious and demanding race in the world.
“Having an experienced driver definitely helps a team. From my first laps in the car I felt comfortable, despite it being a new design never used at Le Mans.
“When I drove the car for the first time I could feel the power of the engine and hybrid systems and the efficiency of the aerodynamics.
“Our goal is the podium and ultimately the Le Mans win. But there are no shortcuts to winning Le Mans and it takes huge effort.”
The Nissan GT-R LM LMP1 car is a front-engined, front-wheel-drive design and is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3-litre V6 engine. The car is expected to have a top speed of close to 240 mph.
Alongside his new Nissan commitments, Gene will also continue his work for the Ferrari F1 team.
He added: “I am really looking forward to the year ahead. My work with Ferrari is really enjoyable and I now have this Nissan Le Mans project to focus on.
“The development of a new Le Mans car is always an exciting prospect for everyone involved.”