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Nissan has unveiled its highly anticipated Nissan Altima V8 Supercar in Melbourne today, with Nissan Australia CEO William Peffer and team co-owners and drivers Todd and Rick Kelly doing the honours.

The Nissan Altima V8 Supercar is the first all-new nameplate to join the championship in two decades.

Nissan will compete in the V8 Supercars Championship series from the 2013 season as the four-car Nissan Motorsport factory team.

“This is a proud day for Nissan and a significant occasion for the sport of V8 Supercars,” Peffer said.

“Unveiling our Nissan Altima V8 Supercar, the first new V8 model in two decades, brings Nissan’s special brand of ‘Innovation and Excitement’ to the V8 Supercars Championship.

“2013 will be an enormous year for Nissan in many ways, with several new models set to launch next year. One of those will be the all-new 2013 Nissan Altima (road car). It will be the first time the Altima nameplate has gone on sale in Australia, and what better way to introduce Altima to Australia than to have it on-track in the V8 Supercars Championship from the start of next season.”

The Nissan Altima V8 Supercar has been designed and built under the category’s new ‘Car of the Future’ regulations that include independent rear suspension, transaxle gearbox and 18-inch wheels.

The Nissan Altima V8 Supercar will use an engine based on the same V8 found in the all-new 2013 Nissan Patrol that goes on sale in Australia from February 2013.

The unveiling also means a great deal to Todd Kelly, the 2005 Bathurst 1000 winner and Nissan Motorsport racing director.

“This is the proudest day in the relatively short history of our team, as well as one of the most significant days in recent times for the sport of V8 Supercars,” Kelly said.

“Our team has done a tremendous job to design and build an all-new V8 supercar, including a new engine, in roughly nine months.

“The Nissan Altima V8 Supercar really is like no other V8 Supercar. Not only does it look spectacular but its unique features and aggressive design ensure that Nissan Motorsport will stand out from the rest of the field.

“The look of the Altima and sound of the VK56DE engine are second-to-none. Once V8 Supercars has homologated the aerodynamic package on the Altima, we will begin our testing to ensure that it drives as fast as it looks and sounds.”

Rick Kelly, who won Bathurst in 2003 and 2004 and won the 2006 V8 Supercars championship, is also the team’s commercial director, and said it was keen to do well next year, despite it being the team’s inaugural season.

“2013 will be the first time in my career that I will be a factory driver and it’s a responsibility that I am not taking lightly,” Kelly said.

“A lot of hard work still lies ahead but we want to ensure that Nissan Motorsport is competitive next season and is a force to be reckoned with in the not-too-distant future.”

When the final homologation process is complete the team will begin testing the first Nissan Altima V8 Supercar along with the construction of the three other cars. Four Nissan Altima V8 Supercars will make their race debut at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, South Australia on March 2 2013.

MAJOR MILESTONES: NISSAN’S AUSTRALIAN
TOURING CAR HERITAGE

1984
Nissan takes pole position for the Bathurst 1000 with driver George Fury in a Nissan Bluebird in lap record time
1986
Nissan takes pole position for the Bathurst 1000 with driver Gary Scott in a Nissan Skyline Turbo
1990
Nissan wins the Australian Touring Car Championship with driver Jim Richards in the Nissan GT-R and Nissan Skyline GTS-R
1991
Nissan wins the Australian Touring Car Championship with driver Jim Richards in the Nissan GT-R
1991
Nissan wins the Bathurst 1000 with drivers Jim Richards and Mark Skaife in the Nissan GT-R in race record time
1992
Nissan wins the Australian Touring Car Championship with driver Mark Skaife in the Nissan GT-R
21 June 1992
Mark Skaife wins the final two races of the 1992 Australian Touring Car Championship at Oran Park Raceway to seal the title – Nissan wins its last Australian Touring Car Championship race
1992
Nissan wins the Bathurst 1000 with drivers Jim Richards and Mark Skaife in the Nissan GT-R
7-8 November 1992
Jim Richards wins both races in the non-championship event at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide, South Australia – the Nissan GT-R wins its final race in Australian Touring Car racing before the precursor to V8 Supercars regulations are introduced for 1993.
1998
A Nissan Primera from the British Touring Car Championship was entered in the 1998 Bathurst 1000 for ‘Super Tourer’ cars, with drivers Steven Richards and Matt Neal finishing in second place.

2013 V8 Supercars Championship schedule
February 16 Pre-Season Test Day Sydney Motorsport Park,NSW

Feb 28 – Mar 3 Clipsal 500 Adelaide Adelaide Parklands,SA

March 14-17 F1 Australian Grand Prix Albert Park,Melbourne, VIC

April 5-7 Tasmania Challenge Symmons Plains,Launceston, TAS

April 12-14 Auckland 400 Pukekohe, Auckland,New Zealand

May 3-5 Perth Barbagallo Raceway, Perth,WA

May 17-19 Texas 400 Austin, Texas, USA

June 14-16 SKYCITY Triple Crown Hidden Valley, Darwin, NT

July 5-7 Sucrogen Townsville 400 Reid Park, Townsville, QLD

July 27-28 Coates Hire Ipswich Queensland Raceway, Ipswich, QLD

August 23-25 Winton Winton Motor Raceway, Victoria

September 13-15 Sandown 500 Sandown, Melbourne, VIC

October 10-13 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 Mount Panorama, Bathurst,NSW

October 25-27 Armor All Gold Coast 600 Surfers Paradise, Queensland

November 1-3 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE

November 23-24 Phillip Island 400 Phillip Island, Victoria

Nov 29 – Dec 1 Sydney 500 Sydney Olympic Park, NSW