As we had predicted yesterday, Nissan will become the first new manufacturer to join the V8 Supercars Championship under the series’ new ‘Car of the Future’ era, which kicks off in 2013.
The widely-expected news was announced today in a press conference at Melbourne’s Crown Casino, along with confirmation that the four-car Kelly Racing stable has become the first team to sign with the Japanese carmaker when it returns to the championship after a twenty-year absence.
Along with driver-owners Rick and Todd Kelly (pictured top), Nissan Australia’s executive team and senior figures from V8 Supercars were on-hand at the press conference.
“We plan to use our presence in the series to strengthen our passenger car credentials in Australia,” said Nissan Australia’s CEO and Managing Director Dan Thompson.
“Nissan believes that, alongside Ford and Holden, we possess the most convincing motorsport DNA and track history in Australia, making a V8SC debut in 2013 an obvious initiative.
“We are targeting No.1 importer status in Australia and already making progress towards that as one of the country’s fastest growing brands. V8 Supercars will boost that momentum.”
Nissan’s final season is what was then known as the Australian Touring Car Championship saw the carmaker field four-wheel-driver Nissan GT-R challengers for Mark Skaife and Jim Richards, helping the former to claim the Drivers’ Championship and the pair to famously win the Bathurst 1000.
“I couldn’t be more excited with the opportunity Nissan has offered Todd, myself and the entire team at Kelly Racing to become their official factory team,” added Rick Kelly, himself a two-time winner of the Bathurst 1000.
“Nissan’s genuine enthusiasm, unwavering support and absolute professionalism through this evaluation has been tremendous and underpins their absolute intentions of Championship success in the category – a dream we share and hope to deliver on.”
“We welcome Nissan with more than open arms,” added V8 Supercars Chairman Tony Cochrane.
“This announcement ratifies all we have known about V8 Supercars for a long time – that we are an international player, a growing following globally and in great demand by big business and corporate players.”
Nissan is yet to confirm what model and engine configuration it will construct to race next season.
This is very exciting news indeed.
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