Internet security giant Norton has announced that this year’s sponsorship with Nissan Motorsport will be its last.
Norton joined the Japanese carmaker on its return to the V8 Supercars Championship at the start of last season, sponsoring the two ‘Norton Hornets’ of James Moffat and Michael Caruso. The company had sponsored Moffat during his V8 Development Series racing days, and continued with him when he made his top-flight touring car debut with Dick Johnson Racing. It then moved teams to Nissan Motorsport when he too switched camps.
“Norton recently made the decision not to renew its sponsorship of Nissan Motorsport in Australia, following the completion of our most recent contract, which expires at the conclusion of the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship,” a statement from the company reads.
“This decision came after a thorough review and evaluation of our brand objectives and priorities. While our involvement in V8 Supercars has been successful, our company has evolved and Norton brand objectives have changed.
“Norton has been involved in the V8 Supercars for seven years and we have thoroughly enjoyed our partnership with the Nissan Motorsport team over the past two years.”
The announcement comes as a major blow to the four-car Nissan stable, which leaves it with just a few months to lock down primary backing for all four of its cars.
Jack Daniel’s – long-time naming rights sponsor of sibling racer/owners Todd and Rick Kelly – are yet to confirm their renewed involvement as well, although it is understood that discussions between both parties are ongoing.
“They’ve been clear on their firm intentions towards continuing next year and we will, in due course, come out with announcements around that,” the team’s commercial manager, Nick Ryan, said today.
The team has reaffirmed that it will field a full four-car effort in next year’s championship, ideally with an unchanged driver line-up for the third year in a row. Despite the loss of his big-spending sponsor, Moffat is already locked in for 2015, while teammate Caruso is off-contract at the end of the current season.
Image via V8 Supercars Championship Media