New sponsor for Caruso in 2018

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 16/02/2018
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

After three seasons in factory Nissan Nismo colours, Michael Caruso has a new primary backer for 2018.

Drive.com.au, the motoring website of media giant Fairfax, has taken naming rights for the #23 Altima.

The move follows the end of the team’s deal with rival Carsales.com.au, which had run on the team’s #7 entry during the past two-and-a-half seasons.

Drive Network chairman, Shane Pettiona, says the deal with Nissan Motorsport brings exciting opportunities for the brand.

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“Supercars has a passionate and extensive fan base that we look forward to engaging with on many levels,” said Pettiona.

“We want to bring value to the fans and we will launch a host of initiatives throughout the year that will make this partnership exciting for everyone.”

Caruso’s livery launch follows that for Simona De Silvestro’s Harvey Norman-backed Altima earlier this week.

Sponsors for the squad’s Andre Heimgartner and Rick Kelly cars are yet to be confirmed. The Kiwi's car will run in a one-off livery today, while Kelly's retains its 2017 scheme.

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Caruso is excited for the new season after a tough 2017 where Nissan failed to add to its two Supercars victories, scored in 2013 and ’16.

The team’s efforts to improve have included recruiting former NASCAR man Nick Ollila as technical director.

“Nissan Motorsport has been working tirelessly over the off-season to prepare the new car for the 2018 season,” said Caruso.

“It was really impressive to complete our shakedown and not have a single drama. The car ran faultlessly.

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“The test day will be an opportunity to try a few things and get really comfortable ahead of the first race in Adelaide in a fortnight’s time.”

Caruso continues his relationship with engineer Steven Todkill, as the pair enter their 11th season side by side having moved together from Garry Rogers Motorsport to Nissan in 2013.

“We’ve been together that long that we are a bit like an old married couple now,” said Caruso. “In this game, that sort of continuity is really important.

“Steven is already coming at me with ideas to go faster, so we’ll have plenty of things to run though at today’s test.”

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