Having earlier shown off the livery schemes that Simona de Silvestro and wildcard racer Jack Le Brocq will run, Nissan Motorsport has taken the covers off its three remaining cars ahead of today’s pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The first of the trio to be unveiled was the #23 Altima of Michael Caruso, which sports an update to the red, black and white paint scheme of NISMO which has backed the 33-year-old since 2015.
Caruso was the team’s best-placed driver in the 2016 Drivers’ Championship standings by finishing tenth overall with the highlight being a popular race win at Hidden Valley, the carmaker’s second race win since it returned to the Australian touring car scene in 2013.
“It’s great to launch the #23 Nissan Altima Supercar for the 2017 season,” said Caruso.
“This is the third season that I’ve been driving the Nissan NISMO entry and I love the new look of my car. It’s clean and classic and reminds me of some of the late-80s liveries that were on the Skylines.”
Rick Kelly was next up to show off his new paint job, with his #15 entry (pictured above) being backed by lighting and sound system supplier Sengled for a second year. Also featured on the car’s striking new livery is significant backing from the team’s long-term sponsor, Castrol.
Todd Kelly was the final Nissan Motorsport driver to reveal an updated paintjob, with his #7 entry running in the black and blue colours of motoring website carsales.com.au, which continues as his title sponsor after joining the team in late 2015.
The 37-year-old will enjoy the benefits of a brand new chassis this year, which will be his first since the Nissan factory program began in 2013. Despite his chassis handicap, Kelly finished a creditable 14th overall in last year’s Drivers’ Championship standings, one place behind his younger brother.
“The new carsales Racing Nissan looks unreal, and the team has done a fantastic job to get the car built over the off-season,” he said.
“It’s really exciting to start the year in a new car; especially considering it’s (chassis number) 007, which I’m a big fan of.”
Nissan Motorsport team boss Richard Emery expressed confidence that the team will have its best season yet in its comeback to the Supercars Championship.
“We head into the 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship fully prepared and with our strongest bank of knowledge and driver skill to-date,” he said.
“The #23 Nissan NISMO Altima Supercar looks impressive in its new livery and we are looking for the same strong speed and results we achieved at last year’s opening round at the annual Clipsal 500.
“It’s also great to have Simona De Silvestro in the team this year,” he added, referring to the team’s high-profile signing.
“She brings a wealth of skill from various racing classes and I’m confident combining her extensive experience with that of Michael Caruso and Rick and Todd Kelly will make our team one of the strongest on the grid this year.”
Images via Nissan Motorsport
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