Unfinished business for the team at the season-ending Sydney NRMA 500.
Nissan Motorsport is aiming to finish the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship on a high at the season-ending Sydney NRMA 500 at Sydney Olympic Park this weekend.
The factory-backed Nissan team has enjoyed a year of many ups, but according to the four Altima V8 drivers, they still have unfinished business around the popular Sydney street circuit.
Sydney-born driver Michael Caruso has the most to play for. Not only is he competing in front of his home crowd, but he will attempt to retain his current top 10 place in the championship.
Both Caruso and his Norton-backed teammate James Moffat will also look to deliver a strong result this weekend as it marks Norton’s final event as Nissan Motorsport’s major sponsor.
Norton will end its two-year partnership with the team after the Sydney street race, having confirmed in August that it is withdrawing from the sport.
Jack Daniel’s Racing pair Todd and Rick Kelly also have points to prove, with valuable championship positions up for grabs in the final three races of 2014.
Practice for the Sydney event kicks of on Friday, followed by two 125km races on Saturday ahead of the feature 250km race on Sunday.
Michael Caruso, #36 Norton Nissan Altima: “It’s a huge shame that this will be our last event racing under the Norton brand. They have a been fantastic company to work with and have been really motivated about the program. It has been a really great to work with them for the past two years.I hope we can send them off in the best way possible – it’s a home event for myself in Sydney. I’ll have a lot of family and friends there which hopefully gives me an edge to get on top of my rivals.”
James Moffat, #360 Norton Nissan Altima: “Saying goodbye to Norton at the end of this event is going to be sad. They’ve been a fantastic supporter of mine, especially a couple of people within that organisation, namely Matthew Drake and Trudy Wood. We want to go to Sydney Olympic Park and send out Norton with a good solid result. We’ve had a couple of highlights this year, but on the whole, it has been a difficult year for me. It wasn’t what I was hoping for, but all we can do is try our best at Homebush, finish on a high and use it as a springboard into 2015.”
Rick Kelly, #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima: "I'm quite excited. The run home after Bathurst is where you start to focus on your championship position, although I'm not in a great one, you always want to do the best you can and finish as high as possible. We're quite fortunate that we've moved forward towards the end of 2014, which has set us up as pretty well for the start of next year. Obviously with Michael (Caruso) 10th in points, at Phillip Island I closed the points gap to 11th position, but I dropped from 13th to 14th in the standings. So our aim is like everyone, try to finish the year on a high, and try to move ourselves up to finish near Michael. If we can move ourselves up to 11th in the points it will show a bit of strength moving into next year, when some further improvements we are planning will come on stream."
Todd Kelly, #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima: "It's gone pretty quick this year, we've tried to improve the cars throughout the whole season, and in the later part they have been quite competitive. We had a great round at Phillip Island in terms of car speed, but we just now need to see what it gives us at Homebush. We've got a few little things that we've improved over the past few rounds, and it would certainly be good to finish the season on a high."