Nissan Altima Familiar for US Fans

  • 12/05/2013
  • By Nissan Motorsport
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Nissan Motorsport will find itself as the 'home team' at the inaugural Austin 400 at the spectacular Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas this coming weekend.

While the V8 Supercars Championship will be staging its first event on United States soil, the team's four Nissan Altima V8 Supercars will be a familiar sight to American race fans.

The USA is regarded as the 'home' of the Nissan Altima. The mid-sized sedan is one of the best-selling vehicles on the American market, with over 300,000 sold in 2012. The American version of the Altima is built at Nissan's production facility in Smyrna, near Nashville, Tennessee. The Altima will go on-sale in Australia for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Nissan Motorsport's two naming-rights partners – Jack Daniel's and Norton – are both based in the United States, and the team is looking to impress in front of its 'local' supporters.

Jack Daniel's, the famous whiskey sponsor of Todd and Rick Kelly's Nissan Altimas, originates from Lynchburg, Tennessee, while Symantec, the parent company of Norton, is based in Los Angeles, California.

"It has always been a dream of mine to race in America, and for the life of me, I never thought we'd have the opportunity to take our own cars over there," said driver and team owner Todd Kelly.

"It's huge for an Australian category to be racing in that part of the world where motorsport is so massive. I feel very lucky and I can't wait to get over there.

"We're in the backyard of our biggest partners, with Jack Daniel's just up the road and Nissan's plant that builds the Altimas there as well. There'll be a lot of interest and support from those guys. 

"(There will) be a bit of pressure, and as always, we'll be pushing as hard as we can to get the cars up the front."

The four-car Nissan Motorsport team has shown encouraging signs in the past two events, with the team taking seven top 10 results at Pukekohe, New Zealand, and Barbagallo Raceway, Perth.

Norton 360 Racing's James Moffat has proved to be the best of the Nissan quartet after four events. The Victorian currently sits 13th in the V8 Supercars Championship.

The Austin 400 at the Circuit of Americas track in Texas will see the V8 Supercars compete in four 100km races. Each race will include a compulsory pit stop.

Track action kicks-off on Friday May 17 local time with Qualifying and racing to be held on Saturday and Sunday.

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