Nissan has announced that Michael Caruso’s #10 Nissan Altima will race in the global motorsport colours of Nissan and NISMO in the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship. The car was unveiled at the spectacular Mount Panorama circuit – the spiritual home of Australian motorsport – in Bathurst, New South Wales, alongside the NISMO Athlete Global Team’s #35 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 that will compete in the 2015 Bathurst 12 Hour this weekend. The spectacular paint scheme mirrors the colours raced by Nissan in GT3 sportscar racing globally. It also heralds an increased commitment to V8 Supercars from Nissan. “The 2015 season is a significant one for Nissan both on and off the race track,” said Richard Emery, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nissan Motor Co. Australia.
“We have discussed internally for some time now what options we can explore with our Nissan branding moving forward, be that across all four Altimas or a holistic presence on one Altima, to increase the Nissan identity of our V8 Supercars program. “This option gives us great on-track presence and illustrates this program’s links to Nissan’s global motorsport activities. “We are excited to have Michael racing in Nissan colours this year, but it is important to note that all four cars remain equal in terms of specification and status.” 2015 is an enormous year for Nissan and NISMO globally. The Japanese manufacturer will make its return to the premier LM P1 class in the Le Mans 24 Hours and FIA World Endurance Championship with the innovative Nissan GT-R LM NISMO. Nissan will also continue its success as an engine supplier to the LM P2 category and become the exclusive engine supplier for the new LM P3 class. As well as prototype sportscars, Nissan will continue to use the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 in GT sportscar racing globally, the traditional platform for Nissan GT Academy winners to live their dreams as they progress from ‘gamer to racer’ and compete against some of the world’s best drivers on circuits such as Spa Franchorchamps, Mount Panorama and the Nurburgring Nordschliefe.
And in Japan, NISMO will aim to defend its title as reigning Super GT Champions with the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500, as well as competing in the GT300 class with the GT-R NISMO GT3. Emery said that it was fitting for one of the Nissan Altima V8 Supercars to campaign in global factory Nissan NISMO colours in 2015, highlighting the global motorsport activities of Nissan by giving one of the Altimas the ‘global NISMO look’. “This year is a massive year for Nissan and NISMO both globally and in Australia. Entering the third year of our V8 Supercars program, everyone at Nissan is excited to see what rewards the progress and stability of our off-season will deliver. “This season will also see us use our V8 Supercars platform to communicate with Nissan customers and stakeholders as well as new car buyers in general, particularly in relation to the launch of the all-new Nissan NP300 Navara.”
Caruso said that he was thrilled to carry the company’s global colour scheme in 2015, his third season driving for Nissan Motorsport. “It is an honour to race under the official factory colours of Nissan and NISMO,” said Caruso. “For any motor racing driver, you always want to be aligned with a factory team, and that was the main reason why I joined Nissan Motorsport back in 2013. “Now, to fly the flag for Nissan alongside my three team-mates is a dream come true. “To see the car at Bathurst, alongside the GT-R NISMO GT3 in identical colours, is awesome.
“We had a strong season last year, but we still have a lot to prove. I’m confident that with the changes we have put in place and the great commitment made by the team over the off-season, Nissan Motorsport will be in a strong position this season.” The unveiling was also the first look at the 2015-specification Nissan Altima V8 Supercar, which features improvements to its aerodynamic package this season following collaborative simulation work between the Nissan Motorsport V8 Supercars team in Australia and NISMO in Japan. The most visible change is a switch from a centre-post mounted rear wing to an end plate mounted version. Caruso’s Altima V8 Supercar will be the only Nissan Motorsport entry that will feature its final 2015 livery at this weekend’s official V8 SuperTest.
The #15 Jack Daniel’s Nissan Altima of Rick Kelly will be seen in its traditional black and white colours, but will run an interim livery ahead of the 2015 Jack Daniel's season launch on 18 February 2015. The naming-rights partners for James Moffat's #99 Nissan Altima and Todd Kelly's #7 Nissan Altima will be announced after the test. As a result, both these cars will run interim liveries in testing this weekend. Moffat will run an identical Nissan NISMO livery to Caruso, while Todd Kelly will run a special Nissan PlayStation GT Academy paint scheme. Nissan will also be represented this weekend at Mount Panorama, with the GT-R NISMO GT3 competing in the 2015 Bathurst 12 Hour. The GT-R is entered by the factory NISMO Athlete Global Team and will be driven by Japanese star Katsumasa Chiyo and former Nissan GT Academy winners Wolfgang Reip and Florian Strauss.