Nissan Motorsport has become the latest team to finalise its co-driver appointments for this year’s V8 Supercars Championship Pirtek Enduro Cup rounds at Sandown, Bathurst and the Gold Coast.
The four-car outfit will pair co-drivers David Russell, Dean Fiore, Matt Campbell and former series champion Russell Ingall to partner Dale Wood, Michael Caruso, Todd Kelly and Rick Kelly respectively.
Thirty-four-year-old Russell will contest his sixth successive endurance campaign with the Victorian squad, which became a factory Nissan operation in 2013. Russell has spent the past two Enduro Cups as co-driver to Rick Kelly – the pair peaked with a fine second place in the closing race at Surfers Paradise – but now moves on to partner Dale Wood in the #96 GB Galvanising entry.
The less-expected signing among the quartet was Porsche Carrera Cup youngster Matt Campbell, who will make his V8 Supercars debut in the #7 Carsales Altima alongside team co-owner and former Bathurst 1000 winner Todd Kelly.
Meanwhile, V8 Supercars comeback king Russell Ingall will be back behind the wheel in 2016 as co-driver to Rick Kelly.
Confirmation of the veteran’s drive was made just one week after testing for the squad at Winton, which was his first ever outing in a Nissan Altima.
Ingall announced his retirement from racing at the end of 2014, only to return with the Holden Racing Team last year as a substitute for the injured James Courtney at Sandown and Bathurst. When Prodrive Racing’s Chaz Mostert was injured in qualifying at Bathurst, he jumped ship as a ‘super sub’ for the Gold Coast 600.
Just seven co-driver seats are up for grabs. Erebus Motorsport is yet to confirm either co-driver role, while the four-car Prodrive Racing stable still has three seats up for grabs. The two-car Garry Rogers Motorsport and Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport teams have one seat apiece still to be confirmed.
|2016 V8 Supercars Championship – Pirtek Enduro Cup Driver Pairings|
|#||Team / Entry||Lead Driver||Co-Driver|
|1.||Prodrive Racing Australia||Mark Winterbottom||Dean Canto / TBA|
|2.||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Warren Luff|
|3.||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||Andre Heimgartner||TBA|
|4.||Erebus Motorsport V8||Aaren Russell||TBA|
|6.||Prodrive Racing Australia||Cameron Waters||Dean Canto / TBA|
|9.||Erebus Motorsport V8||David Reynolds||TBA|
|7.||Nissan Motorsport||Todd Kelly||Matt Campbell|
|8.||Brad Jones Racing||Jason Bright||Andrew Jones|
|12.||DJR Team Penske||Fabian Coulthard||Luke Youlden|
|14.||Brad Jones Racing||Tim Slade||Ash Walsh|
|15.||Nissan Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Russell Ingall|
|17.||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Tony D’Alberto|
|18.||Charlie Schwerkolt Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Karl Reindler|
|19.||TEKNO Autosports||Will Davison||Jonathon Webb|
|21.||Brad Jones Racing||Tim Blanchard||Macauley Jones|
|22.||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Jack Perkins|
|23.||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Dean Fiore|
|33.||Volvo Polestar Racing||Scott McLaughlin||David Wall / TBA|
|34.||Volvo Polestar Racing||James Moffat||David Wall / TBA|
|47.||Walkinshaw Racing||Tim Slade||Tony D’Alberto|
|55.||Rod Nash Racing||Chaz Mostert||TBA|
|88.||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Jamie Whincup||Paul Dumbrell|
|97.||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Shane van Gisbergen||Alexandre Premat|
|99.||Nissan Motorsport||Dale Wood||David Russell|
|111.||Super Black Racing||Chris Pither||TBA|
|222.||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||Nick Percat||Oliver Gavin|
|888.||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Craig Lowndes||Steven Richards|
Image via Motorsport.com