Todd Kelly of Kelly Racing says it didn't take all that much to transform the production Altima's production bodywork to fit over the control chassis: "Aside from flaring of the rear guards, and extending of the front guards; the doors, roof, bonnet and bootlid panels are all the same length as the road car." Shapelier and more compact than the entries from Ford, Holden and Mercedes-Benz, the V8 Supercars bosses will be testing this Nissan to ensure aerodynamic parity with the other cars.
Kelly Racing namesakes Todd and Rick will take the wheel at the season's February opener in Adelaide, the Clipsal 500. As of today, the team is known as Nissan Motorsports but the livery you see is just for the launch; the competition car will wear the Jack Daniels sponsorship worn by the team's Holden Commodore racecars now. Nissan hasn't been in the series in the two decades since that car (the GT-R) was kicked out, and its return throws four carmakers into battle, doubling the current tally. Now enjoy the video and press release below while we wait for Mercedes to show its hand.
Oct. 30 – Melbourne – Nissan unveiled a very special Altima at a launch event in Melbourne on Tuesday as the automaker prepares for entry in Australia's V8 Supercars Championship next season.
The Altima V8 Supercar is the first all-new model unveiled in two decades, as Nissan joins the 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 at the unveiling.
"This is a proud day for Nissan and a significant occasion for the sport of V8 Supercars," said Peffer.
"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 Altima V8 has been designed and built to the category's new 'Car of The Future' regulations, which include 18 inch (46cm) 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 VK56 engine also powers the all-new 2013 Nissan Patrol that goes on sale in Australia from 1 February 2013.
The significance of the occasion was not lost on Todd Kelly, 2005 Bathurst 1000 winner and team Racing Director.
"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," said Kelly.