Nissan & Kelly Racing unveil Altima V8 Supercar

Nissan has unveiled its 2013 Nissan Altima V8 Supercar at a spectacular launch event in Melbourne today.

The Altima is the first all-new V8 Supercar model in two decades, as Nissan joins the V8 Supercars Championship with the four-car, factory Nissan Motorsport team.

Nissan Australia Managing Director and CEO William F Peffer Jr joined team co-owners and Bathurst-winning drivers Todd and Rick Kelly to unveil the spectacular Altima V8 Supercar.

“This is a proud day for Nissan and a significant occasion for the sport of V8 Supercars,” said Nissan Australia Managing Director and CEO William F Peffer Jr. “Unveiling our Nissan Altima V8 Supercar, the first new V8 Supercar model in two decades, brings Nissan’s special brand of ‘Innovation and Excitement’ to the V8 Supercars Championship.

“2013 will be an enormous year for Nissan in many ways, with several important new models set to launch next year. One of those will be the all-new 2013 Nissan Altima, the first time the Altima nameplate has gone on-sale in Australia, and what better way to introduce Altima to Australia than to have it on-track in the V8 Supercars Championship from the start of next season.

“Everyone at Nissan is right behind our team, led by Todd and Rick Kelly, and we are excited about hitting the track next season with this spectacular Altima V8 Supercar.”

The Nissan Altima V8 Supercar has been designed and built to the category’s new ‘Car of The Future’ regulations, which include 18-inch wheels, transaxle gearbox and independent rear suspension.

Nissan Motorsport will use the production-based VK56DE engine in the Altima V8 Supercar, the same engine that powered Nissan to FIA GT1 World Championship glory in 2011.

The significance of the occasion was not lost on Todd Kelly, 2005 Bathurst 1000 winner and team Racing Director who said: “This is the proudest day in the relatively short history of our team, as well as one of the most significant days in recent times for the sport of V8 Supercars.

“Our team has done a tremendous job to design and build an all-new V8 Supercar, including a new engine, in roughly nine months.

“The Nissan Altima V8 Supercar really is like no other V8 Supercar. Not only does it look spectacular but also its unique features and aggressive design ensure that Nissan Motorsport will stand out from the rest of the field.

“The look of the Altima and sound of the VK56DE engine are second-to-none. Once V8 Supercars has homologated the aerodynamic package on the Altima, we will begin our testing to ensure it drives as fast as it looks and sounds.”

Rick Kelly, 2003 and 2004 Bathurst winner, 2006 V8 Supercars Champion and team Commercial Director, said that the team had ambitious goals for the 2013 season despite the significant task ahead. “2013 will be the first time in my career that I will be a factory driver and it’s a responsibility that I am not taking lightly,” said Rick Kelly.

“Our entire team is working harder than ever to ensure that we rise to another level as we transform into Nissan Motorsport for next season. This is the most exciting time in our sport for two decades and it is amazing to think that our team is at the forefront of this change.
“A lot of hard work still lies ahead but we want to ensure that Nissan Motorsport is competitive next season and is a force to be reckoned with in the not-too-distant future.”

The team will now work with V8 Supercars as the category’s technical team works to homologate the Nissan Altima V8 Supercar, in particular its aerodynamic package, to ensure a fair playing field with the competition.

Once the homologation process is complete, the team will begin circuit testing with the first Nissan Altima V8 Supercar and complete construction of further cars, with four Altimas set to make their racing debut at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, South Australia on 2 March 2013.

NISSAN MOTORSPORT: 2012 TIMELINE
9 February 2012
Nissan announces factory entry in the V8 Supercars Championship from 2013, partnering with Kelly Racing, team to be renamed Nissan Motorsport and field four entries.
17 March 2012
Simon Sproule, Corporate Vice President – Global Marketing Communications, Nissan Motor Company, tours team facility and meets with key staff while in Melbourne for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
5 April 2012
Rick Kelly attends New York Auto Show for the global unveil of the 2013 Nissan Altima. Nissan confirms that the Altima will be sold in Australia from 2013 and that the Altima will be raced by Nissan Motorsport in the V8 Supercars Championship. Kelly meets with Nissan global CEO Carlos Ghosn and discusses V8 Supercars and Nissan Motorsport plans.
18-20 May 2012
Yasuharu Kamei, General Manager – Development Department, NISMO, tours team facility, meets with key staff and attends V8 Supercars Championship event at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Victoria.
4 September 2012
The Nissan Motorsport VK56DE engine, a production-based engine that will also power the all-new 2013 Nissan Patrol, unveiled at team facility by Nissan Australia Managing Director and CEO William F Peffer Jr and team Racing Director and co-owner Todd Kelly, 30 October 2012

NISSAN’S AUSTRALIAN TOURING CAR HERITAGE
1984
Nissan takes pole position for the Bathurst 1000 with driver George Fury in a Nissan Bluebird in lap record time
1986
Nissan takes pole position for the Bathurst 1000 with driver Gary Scott in a Nissan Skyline Turbo
1990
Nissan wins the Australian Touring Car Championship with driver Jim Richards in the Nissan GT-R and Nissan Skyline GTS-R
1991
Nissan wins the Australian Touring Car Championship with driver Jim Richards in the Nissan GT-R
Mark Skaife and Jim Richards win the Bathurst 1000 in the Nissan GT-R, in race record time
1992
Nissan wins the Australian Touring Car Championship with driver Mark Skaife in the Nissan GT-R
Mark Skaife wins the final two races of the 1992 Australian Touring Car Championship at Oran Park Raceway to seal the title – Nissan wins its last Australian Touring Car Championship race
Mark Skaife and Jim Richards win their second consecutive Bathurst 1000 in the Nissan GT-R
Jim Richards wins both non-championship races at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide, South Australia – the Nissan GT-R wins its final race in Australian Touring Car racing before V8 Supercars are introduced for 1993.
1998
A Nissan Primera from the British Touring Car Championship was entered in the 1998 Bathurst 1000 for ‘Super Tourer’ cars, with drivers Steven Richards and Matt Neal finishing in second place.

KEY STATISTICS: NISSAN IN THE AUSTRALIAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP
– Nissan has won 28 Australian Touring Car Championship races – the most of any manufacturer outside of Holden and Ford
– Nissan has won 23 Australian Touring Car Championship pole positions – the most of any manufacturer outside of Holden and Ford
– Nissan has won two Bathurst 1000 races outright, the most of any manufacturer outside of Holden and Ford. Nissan, Ford and Holden are the only three manufacturers to have won multiple Bathurst 1000 races outright
– Nissan has won three Australian Touring Car Championships – ranked fourth behind Ford, Holden and Jaguar (Jaguar’s four titles came when the championship was decided by a single race in the 1960s)

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