Norton drivers eager for US V8 debut

  • 09/05/2013
  • By Norton 360 Racing
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Norton 360 Racing's James Moffatand Michael Caruso are champing at the bit to get behind the wheel of theirNissan Altimas at the Circuit of the Americas venue in Austin, Texas, next weekend.

Besides a brief holiday inHawaii, this will be Moffat's first 'real' visit to America – but for Caruso,competing in the USA is not totally foreign. The Sydney-born driver raced andwon the 1997 North American Karting Championships in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"I've raced in Americabefore as a 14-year old in the North American Karting Championships. I won thetitle that year (1997), and for me, it was an amazing experience," the #36driver said.

"They definitely know how togo motor racing in America, and I'm looking forward to getting over there againand experiencing something new.

"It's pretty cool to be apart of the V8 Supercars racing in North America, especially with Nissan inwhat is the 'home' of the Altima. It's great that we get the opportunity torace in front to a crowd where the car is pretty well known."

Moffat is keen not just to raceat CoTA, but to experience the US as well.

"I'm really looking forwardto racing in North America. Clearly it's very exciting that our category isgoing over there in what is NASCAR heartland," Moffat said.

"This is V8 Supercars'chance to show the Americans 'saloon' car racing that isn't on ovals. Thatshould be pretty cool.

"My only American experiencehas been sitting on a beach at Waikiki. Personally, I'm looking forward togoing over there and doing some sight seeing.”

The Norton pair enjoyed a strongturn of speed last weekend at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth, with Moffatcollecting three top 10 race finishes. His solid haul of results moved him upto 13th place in the Championship.

"We're definitely still inthe early days of development in the Altima, so it's encouraging that there'slots of potential in the car and we know there's lots of improvements tocome," Moffat said.

Caruso finished 11th inSaturday's race and was confident of moving further through the field, only tobe hampered by pit lane errors in Sunday's races that cost him a chance tomatch Moffat's pace and results.

"We definitely have theingredients with the Altima, and we're improving all the time,” Caruso said.“That improvement showed on Sunday when I was running with Moffat, butunfortunately, the mistake in the pit stops cost us.

"I feel that it's just amatter of time until we get a good string of results together and startimproving our Championship position."

The Austin 400 at the Circuit of the 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 FridayMay 17, with Qualifying and racing on Saturday and Sunday.

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