Nissan revealed plans to celebrate its first win on the Australian Touring Car Championship. The brand expects to run its #23 Nissan Altima V8 Supercar while sporting a stunning retro design. Nissan will participate in the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama scheduled from October 8 to 11 at Bathurst, Australia.
Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore will race the #23 NISMO Nissan Altima V8 in the same color as that of the 1990 Nissan Skyline HR31. This race marks the 25th year since Jim Richards used the 1990 Nissan Skyline in winning the 1990 championship.
During the eight-round 1990 ATCC, Richards used the Skyline for the first six rounds before switching to the Nissan GT-R R32 for the last two. Even then, Richards won three rounds with two of those rounds racing the Skyline.
In fact, Richards became so fond of the 1990 Nissan Skyline that he bought one for his personal collection and even drives it regularly during historic touring car events. Richards also declared that the 1990 colors were his favorite among the many factory Nissan livery.
Winning the 1990 ATCC crown marked the start of Nissan’s dominance in Australian motorsport. The Nissan GT-R R32 in fact won the 1991 and 1992 ATCC and Bathurst 1000. All wins are credited to the remarkable skills of Richards and Mark Skaife, his teammate.
In the history of Australian touring car, Richards continues to be one of the greatest drivers in the world. Richards’ many achievements include being four-time ATCC champion, two of which were with Nissan in 1990 and 1991. He is also a seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner, two again due to Nissan for 1991 and 1992.
Finally Richards is a member of the V8 Supercars Hall of Fame. This tribute to the first ATCC win follows the brand’s heritage campaign during the Bathurst 1000 last year which was well-received by many. Caruso and Fiore were the ones who raced using the colors of the Nissan bluebird Turbo by George Fury.
This is the same car that gave Nissan its first pole during the 1984 race at Mount Panorama. Nissan has continued to show strong performance even today at Mount Panorama. James Moffat and Taz Douglas for instance raced the Nissan Altima V8 Supercar during the 2014 Bathurst 1000 and finished at second place.
Katsumasa Chiyo, Wolfgang Reip and Florian Strauss, meanwhile raced in the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 and won the 2015 Bathurst 12 Hour last February. Nissan Motor Co. (Australia) Managing Director and CEO Richard Emery shares that the company is truly happy to celebrate its first ATCC win 25 years ago by reviving its more famous paint schemes for the 2015 Bathurst 1000.
Emery relates further that the company was happy with the reaction to its Bluebird 'retro' livery during the Bathurst 1000 campaign in 2014. Nissan is confident that the fans will be as excited as they are to once again see the return of the Skyline colors in this year’s Mount Panorama.
Emery adds that when Richards won the title during the 1990 ATCC, it signaled the start of Nissan’s dominant era in the world of Australian motorsport. This celebration is truly a fitting tribute to Richards who gave Nissan its first ever ATCC win as well as being a legend in Australian motorsport.
Emery proudly states that it is still incredible to see just how much Richards loves the Skyline to the point that he even purchased his own car in order to race it again. While the GT-R R32 remains to be the focus of attention, the achievements made by the Skyline HR31 should always be remembered, concludes Emery.