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Reason Behind Nissan Racing Cars Always Bear The Number 23

The Number 23 has its aura spread out in several sports where this number has been donned by the aces of different sports, such as Michael Clarke, Shane Warne, Lance Franklin and Michael Jordan.

Have you ever wondered why Nissan, the Japanese car maker always takes up the number 23 over the cars when it enters them in any motor sports event?

This isn’t a mere a coincidence, rather a deliberate decision by the company itself. For Nissan cars the number holds an added prestige in to itself. Nissan takes up the Number 23 for race cars as the number 2 in Japanese translates to ‘Ni’ and the number 3 translates to ‘San’ in Japanese. The number 23 together becomes ‘Ni-San’. This is the reason long time back this number has been adopted by Nissan’s car manufacturing factory to make it their choice of motor car racing number for every event.

This traditional racing number of Nissan has been quite favorable for the car manufacturing company as well as NISMO (abridged from Nissan Motorsport International Limited) worldwide, for years. This is why year after year, the company upholds the legacy.


NISMO is an in-house division of Nissan that is the result of the union of motorsport departments, the motorsports and performance divisions. This merger was done in the year 1984.

Since then NISMO cars have been a part of several motor sports events, including 24 Hours of Daytona, 24 Hours of Le Mans, JSPC, JTCC, Super GT and FIA GT Championship. Recently in 2015 it has competed with the new Nissan GT-R LM NISMO alongside biggies from the car world such as Toyota, Porsche and Audi in the FIA World Endurance Championship in the LMP1 class.


How favorable this number has been is pretty evident by the number of victories the Nissan cars bearing Number 23 have brought in the recent history. The victories brought by this traditional racing Nissan number are enlisted below:

NISMO entry in the Super GT Championship in 2015 with the famous number on Autech Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 won them the title.

The Nissan GT-R carrying Number 23 to Super GT Championship of year 1998, 2003 and 2008 brought victories.

The Nissan R91CP car that featured Number 23 in 1992 Daytona 24 Hours race tasted victory.

Nissan Primera with Number 23 at 1999 British Touring Car Championship had victory as well.

Nissan GT-R NISMO GT1 carrying Number 23 brought victory in 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship.

At Le Mans, the recently racing Nissan car, Nissan GT-R LM NISMO isn’t the first one to wear this famous number. In fact previously, at Circuit de Le Sarthe in the 1990s both Nissan R390 and Nissan GT-R LM contested bearing Number 23.

Nissan’s global motorsport program also called global GT3 program supports Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3. Recently, at 2015 Dubai 24 Hours, the car bearing Number 23 as the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN entry secured fifth place (and second in class).