Nissan NISMO has unveiled the livery of the No. 23 Altima Supercar of Michael Caruso and Rick Kelly’s Sengled entry ahead of the 2017 Supercars Championship.
— Nissan NISMO (@NISMO) February 20, 2017
The No.23 entry, which Caruso drove to a win last year at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway, is one of four Nissan Altimas on the grid, joined by team owners Todd and Rick Kelly and former IndyCar driver Simona De Silvestro.
“This is the third season that I’ve been driving the Nissan NISMO entry and I love the new look of my car,” Caruso said. “It’s clean and classic and reminds me of some of the late-80s liveries that were on the Skylines. I feel that this is going to be one of the most competitive Supercars seasons on record. The new tire regulations are going to test the teams. We could see a bunch of new winners in the opening rounds as everyone gets their head around the different compound. Nissan Motorsport is as prepared as we can be, and I can’t wait to cut some laps on the new tires at Sydney Motorsport Park.”
Todd Kelly’s new livery adorns a new chassis – the first for Kelly since 2013 – as Nissan Motorsport produced the team’s seventh Altima over the off-season break.
Wheras last season the engineering responsibilities for Kelly’s team were handled by several team members, this year Kelly enters the season with new race engineer Dilan Talabani.
“The team has done a fantastic job to get the car built over the off-season,” Kelly saiud. “It’s really exciting to start the year in a new car; especially considering it’s (chassis number) 007, which I’m a big fan of. We had a shakedown last week and the car feels great, so we’ll aim to learn as much as we can today before the season gets underway.
“We showed good speed towards the end of last year, so we’ve been working hard to carry that across into 2017. We’ve also had some personnel changes going on in the background, so to start the season with a full-time race engineer and data engineer means we’re shaping up better than we have in previous years.”
De Silvestro signed a three-year deal in the offseason to join the factory Nissan team, and retailer Harvey Norman recently announced a sponsorship deal with the 28-year old Swiss driver.
The opening round is just weeks away on the Adelaide street circuit from March 2-5.