Nissan to return to V8 Supercars competition in 2013
Rumor has it that Nissan is set to return to the V8 Supercars grid next year with powerhouse Japanese manufacturer to announce tomorrow it will be taking the fight to Holden and Ford.
|Rumor has it that Nissan will bring a modified version of its FIA GT-R GT1 car to Australia|
In an historic inclusion which V8 Supercars claim will bulletproof the future of the sport, Nissan have agreed to re-join the series in 2013 in a move which will inject hundreds of thousand of dollars into the sport and place a wedge between the iconic battle between Holden and Ford.
The bombshell entry will also give several lowly placed teams the ammunition to take on the likes of Holden backed team Vodafone, with the manufacturer to pull out the check book in a bid to upset their manufacturing rivals.
Made possible by the Car of the Future program headed by Holden legend Mark Skaife, the coup has been three years in the making.
The Kelly Racing Team will tell Holden they are defecting to the Japanese company.
News Limited rumors that the announcement, to be made by V8 Supercars and Nissan tomorrow at Crown Casino in Melbourne, will be the first of many.
Several other manufacturers, including Chrysler, have been in talks with the fast growing series and are also expected to join the Aussie bred fight.
Both Holden and Ford have welcomed the new competition with Nissan’s inclusion likely to help address the uneven split which this year saw 17 Commodores taken on 11 Falcons.
Holden backed driver Jamie Whincup won the series.
Nissan were last in the series in 1992, with the manufacturer ironically supporting Skaife, the man who helped court them back after a 20 year absence.
Car of the Future has helped make Nissan’s inclusion possible with a host of control parts to be used next year.
It’s believed that Kelly Racing chairman John Crennan – the man who masterminded the Holden Racing Team’s phenomenal success streak in the late 1990s and early 2000s – brokered the deal after speaking with several manufacturers.
Nissan and Chrysler have been linked to V8 Supercars since the category’s chairman Tony Cochrane announced last year he would welcome a third brand to the series. The American Chrysler brand has been linked to Garry Rogers Motorsport, another Holden team.
However, Crennan told Auto Action magazine last August that Kelly Racing wanted to stay loyal to Holden and outlined a plan for his squad to replace the Holden Racing Team as Holden’s factory-backed squad.
“There seems to be an enormous amount of keenness on behalf of V8 Supercars and certain powerbrokers pushing the barrow that we should be getting involved with another manufacturer, because we have superb facilities and no manufacturer deal,” he said at the time.
“I’m tired of these people putting out this line – it would disturb our goal of replacing HRT as the main Holden team at the end of their contract at the end of the 2012 season.”
After just 4 rounds Nissan’s GT-R was no longer the safety and course car for the 2009 V8 Supercar series.
|In 2009 the Nissan GT-R was the pace car for the V8 Supercar series, but then they pulled out|
Buried in the bottom of a press release the statement was very vague in its reasons. We understand, however, that it was alcohol branding which raised the ire of Nissan.
It refused to place signage on the car, and that was that. The statement read:
“V8 Supercars Australia and Nissan Australia have reached an agreement to end their partnership, in which Nissan provided the official Safety Car for the Championship Series.”
“Nissan fielded the world class Nissan GT-R as the official Safety Car for the first four events of the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series with great success and exposure for both brands.
“The decision to discontinue the partnership was amicable and taken in the best interests of both parties. The two companies look forward to exploring other partnerships in the future.”