Nissan Confirms Two Year AU Supercars Commitment
Nissan has confirmed that it will compete in the Australian Supercars Championship for at least another two years and also expand its GT-R racing programme.
It’s been being discussed for a while now, and after months of toing and froing between Japan and Australia, Nissan has finally confirmed that it will compete in the Australian Supercars Championship for at least another two years.
Nissan’s four car team in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship 2017/2018 will remain under the supervision of Todd and Rick Kelly, with Michael Caruso confirmed to drive the factory-sponsored #23 NISMO Nissan Altima Supercar for the next two years.
While Caruso is the only confirmed driver at present, it’s thought that the Kelly siblings will fill two of the other positions, with Simona de Silvestro tipped to secure the remaining seat.
However, the team needs continuous funding and that’s ultimately the Kelly brothers’ responsibility, so their two driving seats could be given up if a driver with sponsorship funding emerges.
The announcement from Nissan will come as welcome news for the local Touring Car series, which has been rocked recently by the high-profile withdrawals of both Ford and Volvo, not to mention the huge scaling-back of Holden teams.
Let’s not forget, though, that the local Altima racing program is costly and not exactly in line with Nissan’s global motorsports ambitions. That’s because it’s the GT-R and not the Altima that Nissan uses for its global motorsports programme.
Perhaps unsurprisingly then, Nissan Australia also announced that it would field two GT-Rs at the Bathurst 12-Hour GT endurance event in 2017. There’s also talk of the firm participating in the Australian GT Championship from next year, but much of that depends on the availability of Nissan GT Academy star Matt Simmons.
Richard Emery, Nissan Australia managing director and chief executive, said: “Motorsport is in the DNA of Nissan, both here in Australia and globally.”