5th Mar 2012 by Admin
Nissan is planning to run a four car attack on the V8 Supercar series in 2013. Nissan Motorsport (Australia) will team up with Kelly Racing, creating a fully-fledged Nissan factory team with its own cars and engines as well as access to the global resources of the giant NISMO (Nissan Motorsport) organisation.
Nissan is the first manufacturer to take advantage of the Car of the Future program, which was developed to cut running costs and encourage other marques to compete and in turn expand fan and sponsor appeal. The first Car of the Future prototypes were unveiled at the Sydney Telstra 500 last December.
The program should ensure the long-term viability of the V8 Championship by introducing new cars and events, improving driver safety, and most importantly reduce the cost of running a V8 Supercar. It’s a common car platform, making it cheaper to construct stronger and safer next-generation racing cars.
There is increasing speculation that Nissan will not run the GTR, but rather the Altima with a Japanese motorsport V8 engine.
Nissan sees their entry into the sport as adding momentum to its brand profile in Australia. Managing director and CEO of Nissan Australia Dan Thompson said, “We plan to use our presence in the series to strengthen our passenger car credentials in Australia. Nissan believes that, alongside Ford and Holden, we possess the most convincing motorsport DNA and track history in Australia, making a V8 Supercars reentry in 2013 an obvious initiative.”
Nissan’s motor racing history in Australia dates back to Datsun competing in the Bathurst 500 mile race (now the Bathurst 1000) in the 1960s. In all, Nissan has two wins and three pole positions at the Bathurst 1000 and is one of only five manufacturers to win Australia’s Great Race. But the last time a Nissan appeared in the Bathurst 1000 was 1998’s two-litre Super Touring, AMP Bathurst 1000.
And Nissan mightn’t be the only new manufacturer entering the series next year. Chrysler is also rumoured to be joining next year with the existing V8 team, Garry Rogers Motorsport.
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