Nissan is headed back to the Australian V8 Supercar Series. The Japanese Automaker was famously ousted in 1993 when the sanctioning body behind the series adjusted the rules to require all entries be V8-based. Nissan had dominated the series for three years with the company's GT-R, laying waste to the front-engine, rear-wheel-drive dinosaurs from Holden and Ford with a high-tech combination of all-wheel drive and turbocharged six-cylinder fury. In 1991, the company set a top-speed record at the Bathurst 1000 that wouldn't be touched for nine years. The following season, the company was forced to carry 100 kg of weight and run reduced boost pressure. It didn't matter. The GT-R still cleaned up.

Nissan is entering the series under the fairly new Car of the Future program, which was designed to make the series more attractive to competitors and sponsors. Interestingly enough, the Car of the Future Program was started by none other than Mark Skaife, the man who piloted the GT-R to many a win in the early '90s. Nissan's racer will be forced to use a generic V8 drivetrain to conform to the rule book, so don't expect to see any more turbo sixes dotting eyes on the track. Likewise, the all-wheel drive of the GT-R will be off the table.

Still, any amount of diversity in a series that's been Holden versus Ford for so long is a step in the right direction. As far as we know, four cars will carry the Nissan badge in the 2013 season and be campaigned by Kelly Racing. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Show full PR text
NISSAN ENTERS THE V8 SUPERCAR CHAMPIONSHIP FROM 2013

- First new manufacturer to join the Championship under the Car of the Future program
- Kelly Racing to race four Nissans in the Championship from 2013
- Nissan leads grid in opening Championship to new manufacturers


In one of the most significant events in V8 Supercar history Japanese car giant Nissan will join the pinnacle of Australian motorsport and touring car racing by entering the Championship from 2013.

After a 20-year absence from the Australian Touring Car Championship, Nissan Motorsport (Australia) will run four cars with up and coming V8 Supercar team Kelly Racing.

From 2013, Kelly Racing will campaign as Nissan Motorsport – a formalised factory team.
The announcement was made in Melbourne today by Nissan Australia Managing Director and CEO Dan Thompson; Ian Moreillon, Executive General Manager, Sales and Fleet, Nissan Australia; V8 Supercar Chairman Tony Cochrane, and; V8 Supercar CEO David Malone.
They were joined by V8 Supercar Commission Chairman Mark Skaife; Kelly Racing Chairman John Crennan, and; Kelly Racing co-owner-drivers Todd and Rick Kelly.

Nissan is the first manufacturer to take advantage of the Car of the Future program which virtually two years ago to the day was unveiled with an aim to cutting running costs and encouraging other marques to compete, in turn broadening fan and sponsor appeal.
Nissan's decision confirms that the Car of the Future program is high on the agenda of V8 Supercar teams and potential new manufacturers.

V8 Supercars expects more manufacturers to follow Nissan's lead given the high profile of the sport domestically and internationally. The sport intends to grow to 18 events world-wide (up from the present 15 Championship events) across 40 weeks in the coming years.
The first Car of the Future prototypes were unveiled at the Sydney Telstra 500 just last December.

Nissan's entry into the V8 Supercar Championship reflects its brand promises of "innovation and excitement": innovation with the Car of the Future program, and excitement through the attraction and popularity of V8 Supercars.

It also believes the sport will add significant momentum to its primary and corporate brand profile in Australia.

Nissan is highly acclaimed and successful in global motorsport, its products having won the European-based FIAGT1 Drivers' Championship, Japanese SuperGT Championship and the LMP2 class (1st and 2nd) at Le Mans last year.

Managing Director and CEO of Nissan Australia Dan Thompson said: "We plan to use our presence in the series to strengthen our passenger car credentials in Australia.

"Nissan believes that, alongside Ford and Holden, we possess the most convincing motorsport DNA and track history in Australia, making a V8 Supercars debut in 2013 an obvious initiative.
"We are targeting No.1 importer status in Australia and already making progress towards that as one of the country's fastest growing brands. V8 Supercars will boost that momentum."

V8 Supercar Chairman Tony Cochrane, who announced the Car of the Future program in March 2010, said it confirmed the global demand for V8 Supercars by manufacturers and destinations was very real.

"We welcome Nissan with more than open arms," Mr Cochrane said.

"This announcement confirms all we have known about V8 Supercars for a long, long time – that we are truly an international player, an extraordinarily popular sport amongst fans globally and in great demand by big business and corporate players.

"I applaud Kelly Racing for this pioneering move to embrace Nissan and take one of the world's biggest brands on their journey within the V8 Supercar Championship. Todd and Rick are truly remarkable businessmen, visionaries and drivers."

Kelly Racing will from 2013 be a fully-fledged Nissan factory team developing its own cars and engines, utilising the global resources of the giant NISMO motorsport organisation.

Rick Kelly, a V8 Supercar champion and multiple Bathurst winner, was enthused about the move.

"I couldn't be more excited with the opportunity Nissan has offered Todd, myself and the entire team at Kelly Racing to become their official factory team," he said.

"Nissan's genuine enthusiasm, unwavering support and absolute professionalism through this evaluation has been tremendous and underpins their absolute intentions of Championship success in the category - a dream we share and hope to deliver on.

"This new partnership has only been made possible by the endless amount of hard work that John Crennan has done for Kelly Racing on this project, and that of Ian Moreillon, Jeff Fisher and the team at Nissan of which Todd and I are very grateful.

"The Nissan Car of the Future (COTF) project is a huge undertaking however Todd and I are firmly focused on the job at hand this season ensuring that Kelly Racing takes those important steps forward on and off the race track.

"Development of our cars and recruitment of key personnel in the off-season should assist us to realise these immediate goals.

"This new partnership brings with it a host of opportunities for the team, our business partners and of course fans and delivers the vision that we have shared since our inception in the category in 2009."

Business partner and elder brother Todd Kelly said Kelly Racing's innovative business strategies fitted perfectly with Nissan's desire to enter the V8 Supercar Championship.

"Rick and I have had one clear goal that we have been striving for since we started Kelly racing, that was to become a benchmark race-winning team with factory support," he said.

"The timing with Car of the Future has enabled us to engage a manufacturer and achieve that. We couldn't be happier to be a factory Nissan team and Factory Nissan drivers.

"Nissan is a fantastic brand that we will all be extremely proud to represent and their international motorsport heritage and engineering capabilities are both key factors in our new relationship that will help us achieve our goals."

Car of the Future architect Mark Skaife said the ground-breaking announcement was only the start. "This opens up a whole new chapter for V8 Supercars," Mr Skaife said.

"The sport and the brand have been so successful over such a long period of time with today's news reinforcing the direction of the business, coupled with imminent international expansion to multiple destinations globally.

"Nissan has clearly acknowledged V8 Supercars as a major component of their future plans within the Australian car market and motorsport internationally. V8 Supercars will deliver on their expectations.

"There is no doubting the entry of more manufacturers now that Nissan has taken the first step to recognize what the relationship will do for their brand."

The three-year Car of the Future project, led by Mr Skaife and a key team of engineers, designers, car builders, V8 Supercar team personnel and drivers, is complete with 2013-spec Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon fully tested and on the showroom floor.

The cars, developed with the sponsorship support of Dunlop, represent the next generation V8 Supercars, paving the way for new marques.

V8 Supercar teams have already commenced building their new cars before the compulsory roll-out in 2013.

About V8 Supercars
V8 Supercars is a touring car racing category run as an international series under Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) regulations. It is the premier motorsport category in Australasia and one of Australia's fastest growing sports. By 2011 the competition had millions of television viewers in Australia, an international broadcast footprint and had achieved multi-million dollar sponsorship at the Series and team levels. V8 Supercars is one of the few truly national sports in Australia, with 14 events held across Australia, plus an event in New Zealand and in Abu Dhabi. On average, 126,000 people attended events in Australia and New Zealand in 2011. V8 Supercars was created in 1997 to professionally manage, market and promote the sport of V8 Supercars racing around the world. Until May, 2011, V8 Supercars was owned 25 per cent by Sports & Entertainment Limited (SEL) and 75 by the teams and management and approximately 60% by AMRP. More information at www.v8supercars.com.au


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 60 Comments
      gtv4rudy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why did Autoblog use the GT-R for the main photo in this article? That's very deceiving
        nettsu
        • 2 Years Ago
        @gtv4rudy
        the media here is using the GT-R as well in all the press about it - I think it's to recall the heady days when the GT-Rs basically dominated racing in this country
        • 2 Years Ago
        @gtv4rudy
        [blocked]
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      V8 RWD only GT-R? Sounds like an Infiniti.
        theautojunkie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @throwback
        ....that's a file picture, because no press releases at the time of the announcement, come on....
      nettsu
      • 2 Years Ago
      it's not going to be a GT-R "NISSAN will use its entry into Australia’s V8 Supercar Championship to launch an all-new American-built large sedan on the local market in 2013." "The car that will form the basis of the race car is most likely the Nissan Maxima replacement that Mr Thompson disclosed to GoAuto at the recent North American International Motor Show in Detroit. This all-new model is expected to use the Nissan-Renault Alliance’s large car platform, that will underpin the next Altima – Nissan’s best-selling car in the United States." http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/EDF0EBAA97CB29C3CA25799F00139BBC
      Jason
      • 2 Years Ago
      According to the announcement video posted online, Nissan will be entering with an "all new sedan", so the GT-R photo is quite misleading. Might want to make a note of that Autoblog.
      Ian
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Fords and Holdens in V8 Stupid cars are not anything like the production cars they pretend to be. The Nissan entry will only show what an out of touch formula V8 Stupid cars are. Its a Bogan race series for people with only just enough brain power to cool their beer before they drink it.
        Danaon
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ian
        Have you ever watched one of the V8 supercars races? It's an excellent series, last season's races were pretty amazing, actually. PS: If you hate V8s and car racing... why are you even here?
          Ian
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Danaon
          I am a long time motor sport fan. The Great Race Bathurst use to be about the cars people could actually buy not Million Dollar cars skinned to look like a Holden or a Ford. The who race series leading up to Bathurst with the old production cars was interesting and fun to watch. The V8 Stupid car series is just simply out of touch with reality and the sooner people wake up to that the sooner we will see a decent production car series again.
        Ian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ian
        This is clearly a section of the blog populated by those just smart enough to cool beer before drinking it.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Panza
        • 2 Years Ago
        Nope, there are actual corners in the V8 Supercar series! It's quite an entertaining series.
          Phil T
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Panza
          Not to mention they have working lights, doors and wipers and aren't afraid to run in the wet.
          Elmo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Panza
          So then what's Infineon, Watkins Glen, Circuit de Gilles Villenueve, and Road America?
        Panza
        • 2 Years Ago
        Oh, and the cars actually look somewhat like the roadgoing versions too. Have a look on youtube, it's more akin to DTM Touring cars than Nascar
          Jason
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Panza
          Nissan will be using their own engines.
        SAPaleAle
        • 2 Years Ago
        Nissan run a RWD V8 GTR in FIA GT1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SAPaleAle
          [blocked]
        Jason
        • 2 Years Ago
        They're not going to be using the GT-R, so your post means nothing. Not to mention the only thing these cars have in common with NASCAR is that they are V8 and RWD. They still use a street car-like inner shell, and NASCAR is all tube-frame.
          Elmo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jason
          So just because they use a street car-like inner shell, it means they're better? The rest of the car doesn't even relate to the namesake.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jason
          [blocked]
          Jason
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jason
          Why does it have to be a "sports car"? These are 4-door sedans, and if you even bothered to follow the news of this announcement, you would know that Nissan will be coming out with an all new V8 powered, RWD sedan next year to go along with the new V8 Supercars program. Making yourself look even more stupid, I'd suggest stopping.
          Jason
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jason
          Umm, the body work resembles the street car pretty much. And yes, because they use a street car-like inner shell certainly makes them more of a "stock car" than anything NASCAR produces. Don't get me wrong, I'm a NASCAR fan but the V8 Supercars are just so much more entertaining....
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jason
          [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jason
          [blocked]
          Elmo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jason
          They WILL NOT being using a Nissan engine. The new COTF regulations have every manufacturer in the sport using 1 single engine made by an outside source not related to ANY large manufacturer around the world.
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
          Elmo
          • 2 Years Ago
          FIA regulations call for all cars to not have any type of forced induction. This is the reason behind Nissan using their already proven V8 to power the GT-R GT1. They couldn't be competitive if they used the VQ37VHR because of the numerous problems this engine has had through its lifetime, including oil temperature issues. Oil temperature issues would be a serious problem in race conditions and in modified conditions. The engine would have to be modified to pump out 560hp, which is the regulated horsepower for FIA GT. The VR38DETT would be obsolete without its turbos, given that it'll probably only produce the same power as the stock VQ37VHR. Also, if you wanna bring up the Ford GT-R race cars that race in FIA GT, those also aren't powered by the production unit. They're powered by Roush/Yates built 5.0L V8s.
        spdracerut
        • 2 Years Ago
        Not at all. Look up the Bathurst 1000 and watch some video. Find the video of Tommy Kendall talking about it. Australian V8 Supercars racing is some of the best racing out there.
      jonwil2002
      • 2 Years Ago
      V8 Supercars died when the cars stopped being derivatives of the road cars. Ironically it was Nissan (and the infamous win by Mark Skafe and Jim Richards in a Nissan Skyline GT-R) that lead to the formation of V8 Supercars as a category separate from all the turbocharged machinery that was then dominating the sport and from there to the continual changes to V8 Supercars that have slowly ruined the sport.
      Bluegoose
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nissan is sponsoring a generic car with a V8 in it. Its literally just putting its name on a car.
        Daverytimes
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Bluegoose
        what are you talking about? Nissan will be racing their own engine, with their own body work.
      zackwatt
      • 2 Years Ago
      V8 Supercars is what NASCAR should be. It will be cool to see some other brands out on the track and it will endure the longevity of the V8s. It really is "The Greatest Show on Wheels"!
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @zackwatt
        Really? It's what NASCAR should be? So the fact that Aussie V8s are now just like NASCAR with its COTF, but also at the same time not like it with the same engine being used through the whole field. At least in NASCAR, you'll see a Ford being powered by a Ford engine. A Chevy being powered by a Chevy. A Toyota being powered by a Toyota. A Dodge being powered by a Dodge.
          Elmo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          And J.D seems to have missed the point of my argument and gone off on some ignorant rant...
          J.D
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          you're defending nascar? Really? A bunch of fat slobs and a Lazy ex F1 driver that can only turn left, punch on when things don't go their way, and get busted drunk driving at stupid speeds on public roads in $350,000 supercars. Time to get off the high horse... True race fans in Aus are disapointed at the formulas continous movement to parity (like your stupid F@#king Nascar) and the move to a car of the future is based on the NASCAR formula. The greedy idiots that lead AVESCO have seen that for some demonic reason, NASCAR ratings go up, the less relevant the racing is to the real world product of manufacturers. Seeing as they was ant to line their pockets, we lose any relevance to production cars. Once upon a time, fans backed a product, and it showed with who was selling in the showroom...now people folow drivers and the car is irellevant. Same as nascar. And with regards the engines, They are built with spec or 'control' parts to a 'control' horsepower, much like nascar. So whether the engine comes from ford or GM, it may as well be the same, just like NASCAR. Nascar is about as relevant to manufactures and roadcars as a porn mag to a blind man. If you can't see that, well I guess you are one of the millions of viewers that hate to see cars turn right...
          erjhe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Where do you get your facts? As far as I can tell, a Ford still uses a Ford based engine and a Holden still uses a Chevy based engine.
          erjhe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          I retract my question. Thanks to a link further down, I'm a bit sick to my stomach.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        flyingfridge
        • 2 Years Ago
        That's not a fanboy comment, that was what it really was like down here then. Their dominance washated so much they were booed on the podium after winning the 1992 Bathurst 1000
      axiomatik
      • 2 Years Ago
      I find racing to be so much more interesting when the cars are actually production based. It's unfortunate that Australian Super Cars is following the same path as the JGTC and DTM series. I used to enjoy them, but find myself less and less interested the farther and farther they get from production cars.
      montegod7ss
      • 2 Years Ago
      So it'll have a Nissan sticker and possibly some form of GTR headlight sticker? Consider me super excited.
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @montegod7ss
        It's most likely not even going to be a GT-R. It'll probably be a Nissan Fuga (Infiniti M).
        Jason
        • 2 Years Ago
        @montegod7ss
        Read the rest of the comments and don't pay attention to the photo. The car they will be using is NOT the GT-R.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jason
          [blocked]
          Jason
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jason
          Maybe try reading the comment I was replying to before you make yourself look stupid.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jason
          [blocked]
          Jason
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jason
          Real racing fans like all forms of motorsport, and don't nitpick and what they should and shouldn't be. If you don't like this form of racing, then why are you here?
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