Wood will fill the seat left vacant by James Moffat, who shifts to Volvo
2013 Dunlop Series champ believes Nissan offers the opportunity to be up the front consistently next season.
Nissan Motorsport has signed Dale Wood to drive for the team in the 2016 V8 Supercars Championship.
Winner of the 2013 V8 Supercars Dunlop Series, Wood will race one of the team’s four Nissan Altima V8 Supercars alongside Michael Caruso, Rick Kelly and Todd Kelly.
Wood will enter his third full season in the V8 Supercars Championship in 2016, joining Nissan Motorsport from Brad Jones Racing, where he raced the #21 entry in 2014 and ‘15.
Career highlights to date include Wood’s first V8 Supercars Championship podium – a third place finish at Winton Motor Raceway in 2014, a third place qualifying position (also at Winton that year) and finishing third in the qualifying session for the 2014 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, elevating him to the ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout.
Wood is now presented with an opportunity to fulfil his potential and demonstrate his speed with a factory outfit. Wood previously raced with Todd and Rick Kelly’s team in 2009 (partial schedule and endurance races) and 2010 (endurance races alongside Todd Kelly).
“I’m really excited to be joining the factory backed Nissan Motorsport team,” said Wood.
“It’s such a competitive environment in this sport and it takes a few years to find your feet. I see this as an important step in my career to move up the grid and help develop myself as a driver.”
Wood believes joining the Nissan squad will put him in a position to achieve more consistent results in the 2016 season, and thanked his current crew at Brad Jones Racing for their efforts and assistance.
“I’d like to thank everyone at BJR for the last two seasons," Wood said.
"I’ve really enjoyed working with such a good bunch of people and I look forward to finishing the year strongly with them. Achieving the first podium for car #21 was a real highlight and good reward for the hard work the team put in.
“This decision to move to Nissan is designed to help me achieve those results more consistently.”
Wood has recorded two top 10 finishes this season in the GB Galvanizing entry and hopes to see his results rise as he gains more experience in V8 Supercars and moves to a factory-backed group.
“The last two years have been spent learning and understanding the category and familiarising myself with all the circuits we go to,” Wood said.
“Knowing Rick and Todd quite well, I see this as a great environment – to not only help me achieve what I want with my driving but to also bring results to the team.
“I’ve watched Nissan since they joined the category in 2013 and there is no manufacturer that is as active within the sport. So to be able to join the team now is very exciting.”
Rick Kelly was pleased to welcome Wood back into his team and believes he has plenty to offer the team moving forward.
“Todd and I, as well as the whole Nissan Motorsport team, are excited to have Dale Wood on-board for 2016,” Kelly said.
“It is also nice to have Dale back as a part of our team after he put in so much work behind-the-scenes as we worked to establish our team in 2009.”
With James Moffat’s departure to Volvo – announced late last month – the team needed to find a viable option to line up alongside Caruso for 2016.
“Signing a new driver was a hot topic and something that we spend a lot of time considering. It’s not an easy decision,” Kelly said.
“You have to take all things into account and be able to predict what a driver would be able to bring to our team within our environment, not necessarily what they are achieving in their current environment.”
Two more rounds remain for the 2015 V8 Supercars season, with next year’s racing kicking off at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide from March 3 to 6.