Factory team will continue to race Nissan Altimas for another two years.
NISSAN will continue to provide factory backing for its Australian arm to race Nissan Altimas in V8 Supercars, as well as enter two factory Nismo GT-R GT3s in next year’s Bathurst 12 Hour.
Yesterday’s announcement comes after months of will-they, won’t-they as executives in Japan contemplated the future of factory support for racing in Australia.
Nissan Australia will continue to race as a four-car factory team in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship for the next two years, with Michael Caruso re-signing with the team for the same period.
Holden and Nissan are the only teams to provide factory support in Supercars from next year. Volvo says it will quit Garry Rogers Motorsport at the end of the year, while Ford withdrew from the sport at the end of 2015.
Caruso won Nissan its first Supercars race since 2014 earlier this year, claiming victory at the Darwin round of the championship.
The Japanese brand will also expand its efforts at the Bathurst 12 Hour, where it won in 2015 and finished runner-up this year.
A pair of Nissan Nismo GT-R GT3s will contest next year’s race, with driver line-ups to be confirmed at a later date.
“Motorsport is in the DNA of Nissan, both here in Australia and globally,” said Nissan Australia managing director Richard Emery.
“When Nissan first opened for business in Australia in 1966, one of the first things we did was to go motor racing.
“Our motorsport program is a way for us to show people what the Nissan brand stands for – through the excitement of our race cars and the innovative and inclusive nature of our fan activations.”
It was confirmed earlier this month Nissan would enter its GT-R GT3 in the final two events of the Australian GT championship at Hampton Downs and Highlands Motorsport Park in New Zealand, with Caruso and GT Academy graduate Matt Simmons behind the wheel.
It was also confirmed yesterday that Simmons would continue to compete for Nissan in 2017, either locally or in Europe. Nissan is evaluating further opportunities to compete in Australian GT from 2017 onwards.
“We are very proud of our global approach to motorsport and today’s announcements for Australia really showcase our brand, both locally and internationally,” said Nissan global motorsports director Michael Carcamo.
“The Supercars championship is one of the most high-profile sporting events of any kind in Australia and Nissan has tremendous heritage and a huge fan base in this series.
“Our efforts in the Bathurst 12 Hour over the past two years have further intrinsically linked Mount Panorama and the GT-R. They already had incredible history together but this has now gone to a new level.”