The four-car Nissan Motorsport enduro line-up has been finalised, with Dave Russell confirmed as joining Dale Wood in the #96 GB Galvanizing Altima.
The highly experienced Russell now continues his involvement with the squad, which extends back to 2011. It’s this experience across the development of the Nissan Altima that Dale Wood believes will prove invaluable.
“Dave has a lot of experience in the Nissan, arguably more than myself at the moment, so I think it’ll be a good fit," Wood said.
“He’s a really good, fun guy to have around. There’s no doubt that Dave is a fast guy, you regularly see him up near the top pace-wise of the co-drivers. It’s good that we’ve got him in the car.”
As the final piece of the co-driver puzzle goes into place, Wood is confident of a strong showing at the Pirtek Enduro Cup.
“Dave has great enduro experience and I think he’s a very professional co-driver to have in the #96 GB Galvanizing Altima.
"I think the cars will be particularly strong at the likes of Bathurst and the Gold Coast.
"Looking at previous years we probably haven’t been as strong as Sandown but I think that the soft tyre will really help us there. And I think the cars have good race pace and look after their tyres well, which are both great traits for the enduros.”
After previous stints with Todd Kelly (2011) and Rick Kelly (2012-2015), last year's Carrera Cup Australia runner-up can now share his knowledge on the evolution of the Altima package with his new partner.
“Dale is experienced in V8 Supercars as a Development Series Champion, there’s obviously no lack of talent there,” said Russell.
“This year is my fourth year with Nissan Motorsport, so I understand the chassis very well and I can bring along my knowledge of the car and the trend of the car over a race weekend at these three important races.”
Russell was part of the Winton test session earlier in the week, sampling multiple cars across the four-car outfit.
“It was the first time for me on soft tyres at Winton, so I had an absolute blast. With the resurfaced track I couldn’t believe how much fun it was. I could feel some definite refinements from the 2015 car.”
This announcement confirms the driver line-up across all four Nissans, with Todd Kelly's pairing with youngster Matt Campbell, Rick teaming with veteran Russell Ingall and Michael Caruso's long-time co-driver Dean Fiore returning in the other Altimas.
Fiore and Russell are both listed as additional drivers for this weekend's Perth SuperSprints, meaning they are eligible for practice laps at Barbagallo Raceway.