@NISSAN_MSport • @NISMO •@MicraCup •@nissancanada • (April 6, 2016)- Nissan Motorsports International Co., Ltd. (NISMO) welcomes Takao Katagiri to NISMO, where he takes up the position of President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The company also congratulates Michael Carcamo on his new position as the Program Director.
Takao Katagiri will concurrently serve as the President and CEO of Autech Japan, Inc., and the Head of NISMO Business Office of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., roles he has taken over from Shoichi Miyatani, who retired at the end of last month. Katagiri, who was formerly Executive Vice President, Chairman of Management Committee Japan, Asia, and Oceania region of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., brings over thirty three years of Nissan experience to the role.
Michael Carcamo, who was most recently Program Director for Nissan’s LM P1 programme, now takes up the position of Global Motorsport Director of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. as well as Program Director at NISMO. Carcamo has been with Nissan for 13 years. Before joining the global motorsport team, he held the position of Director of Vehicle Program Management and assistant Chief Vehicle Engineer in Mexico.
As the 2016 season gears up across the globe, here is what Mike had to say about the year ahead, including comments about the Micra Cup:
Mike Carcamo Q&A
Q: The 2017 GT-R was unveiled in New York recently, how important is GT3 racing with the GT-R as a flagship brand builder?
MC: “The GT-R launch has certainly been great for the brand and as defending Blancpain Pro Endurance Champions the link between GT-R and the GT3 should be very clear. There is no better place than GT3 to demonstrate our most advanced, refined and progressive sports car.
“This year, we’re expanding the campaign to field two cars in both the Blancpain Endurance and Sprint Series and we’re continuing the American programmes in Pirelli World Challenge. We already scored an amazing second place at Bathurst this year and the GT300 car has been very fast in testing in Super GT.
“All the premium automotive brands compete in GT3 because it’s the most visible link between racing and road cars – a great place to showcase your capabilities.”
Q: At the WEC and ELMS pre-season test recently, Nissan powered 57% of the entire field. How important is prototype racing to the brand, particularly with the fact that we don’t have an LMP1 programme anymore?
MC: “Having 57% of all the cars on the grid with Nissan powertrains is pretty impressive and overall we have a very strong history with our engine programs.
“I think we should be very proud of the victories we’ve achieved in the various classes. And the teams have obviously chosen Nissan to give them the best chance to win. Our relationship and commitment with the FIA and the ACO for endurance and prototype racing hasn’t waivered. We simply need to find the best opportunities to showcase our technology and the brand in that space.
“Through our partnership with Renault this year, and the Algarve Pro team we’ll be sending Chris Hoy on the road to Le Mans and last year’s Renault Sport Trophy Elite champion Andrea Pizzitola who will join the team from Le Mans onwards. I think there should be no doubt about our commitment in continuing prototype and endurance racing.”
Q: The brand was very successful in Japan last year winning both Championships in Super GT. How important is it to showcase that result both globally and locally in Japan?
MC: “The fact that our headquarters and most of the engineering staff are based in Yokohama, it’s a great source of pride to win on your home field.
“Winning four of the last five championships in GT500 is an incredible achievement and those efforts in GT500 and GT300 are actually shared globally for all our racing programs.
“There’s a big benefit to having a global approach in racing and achieving success in one market and one area should translate into success in other areas as well.”
Q: We’re the only manufacturer in the world with factory-backed programs in Japan, Europe, US and Australia. How important is that global outlook to the brand?
MC: “The ability to run successful programs around the world is derived from some of the same philosophy of the entire brand. We’re a global organization with the best resources and capabilities that aim to meet the customer needs. Our global vehicle development programmes allow us to capture the best of the best ideas for all our projects.
“It’s massively important for us to be able to demonstrate that capability around the world. You have to remember, each of the championships is different. They all have their own unique challenges, they’re run on different types of circuits with different formats and therefore we’re constantly adapting to secure the competitiveness in those particular series.
“It really is an asset to be able to compete at any given time any where around the world.”
Q: In the Blancpain Endurance Championship last year we had Japanese driver Katsumasa Chiyo as part of the championship-winning driver line-up. How important was that win for the brand?
MC: “Chiyo and all of his teammates did an amazing job last year. This year he moves back to Japan to compete in GT500 for the first time which again will test his skills and really enable him to grow.
“That experience abroad and that success internationally will also help his confidence back in Japan, so we’re really excited about that.
“Mitsunori Takaboshi has got some big shoes to fill but I’m sure that with the NISMO team and the support programmes we have, our goals will make him just as successful as he can be. “We’re really excited about the driver exchange programmes of having drivers come from one country to another. This year Jann Mardenborough makes a big leap over to Japan as well in the GT300 as well as Japanese F3. So this opportunity allows not only the teams but the drivers to grow enormously and again sharing data and best practices is what a global company should be all about.”
Q: How much work goes into making sure these drivers are comfortable in their new environment when they are living in a new country?
MC: “It’s part of the foundation of our program, it’s not just the racing, but it’s about the people and the drivers and the support to get them to achieve their goals.
“Jann will still have a driver coach and support from GT Academy in order to continue his development process as a driver and to culturally adapt. All of those needs will be just as supported as he was back home.
“It’s the same for our drivers from Mexico, France or Australia will be supported when they come to base themselves in the UK for their racing activities. That’s a part of the strength that we have – having a good organizational base by which we can support people to achieve their best results.”
Q: Why is motorsports so important for Nissan and NISMO?
MC: “Motorsports can probably be best defined as the ultimate expression of building and maintaining teamwork. In motorsports you can push beyond the ordinary into the unknown. “Does that always work out? Sometimes no. But if you cannot learn from mistakes then you can’t innovate either.
“Another aspect is the people themselves. Every person in motorsports grows. It doesn’t really matter which function you’re talking about. We talk about engineers in motorsports but really, every job within the organization is pushed to its limit and that really is what makes a great team.
“Motorsports enhances that in a way that nothing else can. You live a very different experience when you have to compete on a week-in week-out basis. Nissan and NISMO has a long and rich history in racing. We’ve had a lot of success with different types of motor racing which helps our company grow. I think motorsports is part of our DNA and something we continue because it’s what we do, it’s how we best express ourselves.”
Q: From a fan perspective the brand has been very open facing to the public in the past, how important is that philosophy?
MC: “It’s very important. We know how successful it has been. The fans really appreciated the openness and the access to the teams. We plan to continue that. We’ll find new ways to engage with them and allow them to see behind the scenes as to what makes a motorsports team successful. The fans are what makes our sport possible so we need to continue to find ways to excite them and engage them in what we do.”
Q: How pleased are you with the development of the Nissan Micra Cup in Canada?
MC: “The Micra Cup was a massive success in its inaugural year with even more growth 2016. This year the series spreads from Quebec through Ontario, and includes some high-profile historic venues like Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Circuit Trois-Rivières. You normally wouldn’t look at a car like the Micra as a racing car, but the level of competition last year was exceptional and generated a lot of enthusiasm with drivers and fans. The great thing the championship provides is for drivers to be able to compete in a car which remain almost stock. This makes an incredibly cost-effective option for the competitors – the perfect platform for somebody to kick off their racing career. I’m certain we’re going to see some stars of the future start to emerge from this championship.”
About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized annually by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year since 2010. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the U.S. media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.
About Nissan Motor Co.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 247,500 employees globally, Nissan sold 5.32 million vehicles and generated revenue of 11.38 trillion yen (USD 103.6 billion) in fiscal year 2014. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. Nissan leads the world in zero-emission mobility, dominated by sales of the LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle. It is the best-selling EV in history with almost 50% share of the zero-emission vehicle segment.
For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.
About Nissan Canada Inc.
Nissan Canada Inc. (NCI) is the Canadian sales, marketing and distribution subsidiary of Nissan Motor Limited and Nissan North America, Inc. NCI directly employs 306 full-time staff across offices in Vancouver (BC), Mississauga (ON), and Kirkland (QC). There are 190 independent Nissan dealerships, 39 Infiniti retailers and 45 Nissan Commercial Vehicle dealers across Canada. A pioneer in zero emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades including the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year and World Car of the Year awards.
More information about Nissan in Canada and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.nissan.ca and www.infiniti.ca.
Didier Marsaud/ Director, Corporate Communications
Jenn McCarthy/ Cohn & Wolfe