Moffat's Future Secure

  • 24/10/2015
  • By Bruce Newton
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

James Moffat says he is excited his 2015 rollercoaster ride is ending with the right result now that he has secured his V8 Supercars future.

Moffat, who set fastest time in Friday practice at the Castrol Gold Coast 600 in his Faresin Industries Nissan Altima using an upgraded VK56DE engine for the first time, has been confirmed this week as leaving the factory Nissan Motorsport team at the end of the season when his contract expires.

Although his next drive has not been announced he is being heavily linked with the Wilson Security GRM squad, where he is expected to join good friend Scott McLaughlin campaigning a factory-backed Volvo S60 V8.

If that is the outcome - and its likelihood was increased yesterday when GRM announced current driver David Wall would not return full-time in 2016 - it is an outstanding result for a driver whose full-time future in V8 Supercars beyond this year did not always seem guaranteed.

"There were drivers on the market and only a certain amount of seats," Moffat told on Friday evening.

"I think the thing is there always seems to be five or six drivers who come out of contract most years and it's whether those five or six just shuffle within each other or whether there is a couple of other guys that come in and take a couple of seats as well.

"I was mindful of that and clearly my main priority was making sure that there was a chair for me to sit in when the music stopped.

"I am not ready to become a couch expert just yet. I am happy to have my future secure."

In fact, Moffat is not just happy, he is excited.

"I think any time you get new opportunities it is always exciting. I get to work with a new team and all that and that's exciting and it will be a whole new learning process.

"I am excited for the rest of the year but I am also excited for 2016 and beyond."

Moffat reiterated his determination to perform to the best of his ability for Nissan Motorsport for the remainder of his third and final year with the team.

"I have made some great friends and have some great memories at Nissan Motorsport and I am very thankful for the opportunities I have had. It will be tough to leave at the end of the year but sometimes these things have to happen.

"It would have been nice to stay and have that continuity, but for a few reasons it wasn't happening and we all have to move on."

Moffat, who spent two years at Dick Johnson Racing before joining Nissan, delivered the Altima's first and only win so far at Winton in 2013 and qualified on pole at Ipswich in 2014. His best finish in the drivers' championship came last year when he finished 16th.

This year he runs 18th and fourth of the four Nissan drivers. But his season has been punctuated with issue including being the innocent victim in a crash with Chaz Mostert at the Clipsal 500 when headed for a top 10 finish.

"I hate using the term bad luck because I think it can sometimes be a cop out," Moffat reflected. "But I do feel like we have had a lot of that throughout the year. Results haven't been quite what they probably should have been.

"The crash with Chaz at Clipasl almost in many ways set the tone for our year. We have had punctures and bits and pieces, just crappy little things that you can't afford to have."

Moffat's Friday fastest time continues a consistently rich vein of form for the Altimas on the rough and fast Gold Cast circuit. Last year team-mates Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore claimed fifth on Saturday in the opening 300km race and a podium with third place on Sunday. Moffat qualified seventh on Sunday but he and co-driver Taz Douglas didn't figure in the results.

"The Nissans have always been reasonably strong here and it's certainly a track that I enjoy," said Moffat.

"I feel we can attack the back chicane with some confidence and if you get a car that allows you to do that then that is a lot of time around here.

"And generally our cars are quite strong under brakes and there is good time to be had there around here as well.

"Hopefully our cars are strong Saturday and Sunday."

Moffat's Altima, with sponsorship from agricultural machinery company Faresin Industries debuting this weekend, is the last Nissan upgraded with the new specification cylinder head for the VK56DE.

"It feels like an improvement from what we have had all year so that is a positive for the team," Moffat said.

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