Nissan Wheel Out 25th Birthday GTR For Bathurst

Nissan will celebrate 25 years since its first Bathurst 1000 victory at this year’s edition of ‘The Great Race’ at Mount Panorama.

The #23 NISMO Nissan Altima Supercar of Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore will race in the classic red, white and blue colour scheme of the 1991 Bathurst 1000-winning Nissan GT-R R32 at the 2016 Bathurst 1000 on October 6-9, a quarter of a century after Mark Skaife and Jim Richards dominated the same race.

It will be the third consecutive year that Nissan will celebrate its Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) heritage. In 2014, Caruso’s Altima ran in the colours of George Fury’s1984 Bluebird celebrating the manufacturer’s first Bathurst 1000 pole position. Last year, the #23 Altima raced in the colours of Jim Richards’HR31 Skyline, celebrating 25 years since the first ATCC title win for Nissan.

The legendary R32 GT-R was untouchable in 1991. Richards and Skaife finished first and second respectively in the Australian Touring Car Championship before going on to record a dominant victory in that year’s Bathurst 1000. The remarkable performance of the car was underlined by its overall race time – 6 hours, 19 minutes and 14.8 seconds – a record that would remain untouched for 19 years.

Skaife, then a rising star in Australian motorsport, went on to become a household name by winning five Australian Touring Car Championships and six Bathurst 1000 crowns. He says that his first win in 1991 aboard the almighty R32 was a life changing experience.

“Twenty five years on and some of the best memories of my life,” said Skaife.

“To win my first Bathurst with a legend like Jim Richards in the Nissan GT-R was just fantastic. It was a life changing moment to win the biggest car race in this part of the world.

“The 1991 race was fantastic because we could press on all day. It was the fastest race in history at the time and it was just a faultless day by not only the team, but the way the car ran. It was an amazing experience and a great result for the Nissan Motor Company.

“I think it’s a great connection for Michael to run this livery as a consequence of the GT-R and the way the Nissan Motor Company has been long-term supporters of car racing in Australia. I love the look of it and I’m sure ‘Richo’ will have a tear in his eye also.”

Caruso said he is honoured to campaign his #23 Nissan Altima Supercar in arguably the manufacturer’s most famous war paint.

“It’s definitely the Nissan livery that I’ve been looking forward to the most,” said Michael Caruso.

“There’s no doubt about how important and how successful the GT-R was and to have the same colours on my car at Bathurst is something very special.

“We’re going to Bathurst with the best chance for success we’ve ever had. In the four years since Nissan has been back in Supercars, this has been my strongest year. We’ve had a race win and a couple of podiums, so hopefully we can go to the mountain and do what it takes.”

Car statistics: Nissan GT-R R32

Competition history:Debuted Mallala 1990, last race Australian Grand Prix 1992

ATCC Round Starts:21

ATCC Round Wins:12

ATCC Titles:2 (1991, 1992) *Also competed in final two rounds of 1990 ATCC title win

Bathurst 1000 Wins:2 (1991, 1992)

Mark Skaife bio & career highlights

Date Of Birth:3 April 1967 in Gosford, New South Wales, Australia

ATCC/Supercars Event Starts:220

ATCC/Supercars Race Wins:90

ATCC/Supercars Pole Positions:41

ATCC/Supercars Titles:5 (1992, 1994, 2000, 2001, 2002)

Bathurst 1000 Wins:6 (1991, 1992, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2010)

1991 Bathurst 1000 Race Record:Mark Skaife and Jim Richards’ 1991 Bathurst 1000 race record remained unbeaten for 19 years, eventually broken by Skaife and Craig Lowndes in 2010.

Aussie Fricke The Next Big Thing

Max Fricke finished in third place in the second round of the Speedway World Under 21 Championships last week in the Czech Republic after dropping just one point during the heats.

This gave Fricke first pick of starting gates which he used to his advantage and was leading the final prior to hitting a loose bit of dirt upsetting his run on the second lap which relegating him to last place.  He recovered enough to pass compatriot, Jack Holder, to get onto the podium in third position and although he could look at this as a missed opportunity, he was still happy with his night as he had scored enough points through the heats to put him into equal first place in the overall Championship standings.

“I said before the round that I would have been happy to make the podium after a pretty ordinary first round where I had a fall, dropping vital points.  I still managed to scored enough points to get into the semi final and then progress to the final finishing in third but because of the fall, and dropping a few points in subsequent heats, I ended the first round in equal fourth place on points in the Championships, said Fricke.

“This time was different.  Although I still came third, I had pulled back enough points during the heats to end the night in equal first place in the overall Championships so I’m really happy with my performance.  It’s a good place to be heading into the final round and if all goes well, I can be pretty confident of an overall podium finish” he concluded.

Fricke will head to Poland for the final round on 2 October as one of the favourites to take the title with just one point separating first and third place.

20 year old Fricke has impress many in the speedway world with his rapid progression in the sport and is now one of only 4 Australians to have secured a contract with teams in the top tier of racing in the UK, Poland, Sweden and Denmark.   After successfully debuting in the UK Elite League and first division in Poland in 2015, Fricke’s impressive results attracted interest from the top level teams this year in Poland and Sweden (the toughest leagues in the world) who signed him as a possible future prospect.  Many expected him to find the world class competition very challenging but his impressive results have seen him nominated with 4 others in the category of “Discovery of the Season” in Poland.    Fricke’s teams have proved very successful this year with his UK Team, the Belle Vue Aces, Swedish team, Rospiggarna and Danish team, Region Varde Elite Sports, all progressing to the play offs in their respective countries.  His Polish team, which also debuted in the Exraliga this year, finished in sixth place o
n the ladder and did not make the play offs. 
 
As well as team success this year, Fricke was also named in the four man Australian national team to contest the Speedway World Cup where they placed fourth and he also formed part of the World U21 Team which came second to Poland, the defending Champions.   He also contested the GP Qualifier Series making the final and finishing in 10th place, the highest placed Australian outside the GP series.

With the season fast coming to a close and his Danish team already winning their League Championships, there are still a few big matches ahead for Fricke with the UK play offs commencing this week.  His Swedish team, Rospiggarna have made a clean sweep of their playoffs and have the final home and away matches in two weeks with both of these teams favoured to win their Championships. 

After the U21 final round Fricke will fly to Melbourne mid October as he has been offered the reserve spot in the last round of the 2016 Speedway Grand Prix Series which will be contested at Etihad Stadium on 22 October. 

NASCAR’S KYLE LARSON SET TO RACE IN AUSTRALIA

He’s arguably the most explosive and versatile young racer in world motorsport. On clay or on asphalt, 24-year-old Californian NASCAR and Sprintcar star Kyle Larson is feared and revered wherever he turns the wheel.

Now Sydney fans will get to see this rising superstar up close and personal with a minimum four-night schedule at Valvoline Raceway.

The Chip Ganassi Racing livewire who shot to prominence with his first ever win at the 2016 Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race last month has inked a deal that will see him compete in a brand new Cool Chassis/KRE Engines package at Valvoline Raceway during the 2016-2017 season.

“This is a landmark day for Valvoline Raceway and the USC,” smiled VR Managing Director Steven Green, “We’ve been working on this for some time now and I’m delighted to say that Kyle has agreed to come and race with us.”

Reports in the media recently suggested that Larson was Sydney bound but Green concedes it was only just confirmed.

“We always hoped that we could put the deal together but Kyle has such a spectacular career and he’s so busy with his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and other commitments that we had to wait until everything was concrete. We’re all thrilled that he’ll be here but the deal was only confirmed very recently.”

Larson will compete on the following dates at Valvoline Raceway:

Monday, December 26 – Valvoline Australian Sprintcar Grand Prix
Wednesday, December 28 – Peter Murphy Appreciation Night
Friday, December 30 – NSW Sprintcar Championship
Sunday, January 1 – The USC Firecracker 50-Lapper

At this stage Kyle’s Australian safari will be limited to those four nights but Green remains optimistic that there may be room for expansion.

“Right now those dates are what he has time for, certainly if he’s available for any other opportunities at our MadeTooGo circuits we’d love to accommodate him. To be honest we’re just so grateful for those four nights, but if he has the time and the inclination to extend his stay I’m sure we can find room for him.”

Larson has cemented his name in the American motorsport landscape with phenomenal versatility where he’s able to be competitive or win at will in a Speedcar (Midget), Sprintcar or Stock Car.

He has successfully qualified the No. 42 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet into this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship, where he’s currently listed as 12th in the standings, with 11 top-10 finishes and seven top-five results, plus the career-first win in Michigan.

He also drove a fantastic race from the B-Main to finish fifth in this year’s 5-hour ENERGY Knoxville Nationals A-Main.

There’s seemingly nothing he can’t drive.

“I’m really excited about coming Down Under to Valvoline Raceway,” said Larson.

Allan Moffat OBE Named As CAMS Ambassador

Motor racing legend Allan Moffat OBE has been named as an ambassador for the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS).

Moffat joins current CAMS Ambassador Daniel Ricciardo to support CAMS’ efforts to promote motor sport in Australia.

Moffat says he is deeply honoured to be named as a CAMS Ambassador.

“To be recognised for my past achievements and entrusted with the task of being an ambassador is a true honour,” Moffat said.

“Motor sport in Australia has a long and proud history, and its future is incredibly bright.

“It’s pleasing to hear of more Australians participating than ever before; motor sport is truly accessible to all Australians and I hope I can inspire more people to take up motor sport.

“I am very pleased to join Daniel Ricciardo as a fellow CAMS Ambassador, and I look forward to playing my part in promoting our great sport.”

CAMS President Andrew Papadopoulos said CAMS Ambassadors are chosen on the basis of their standing in the motor sport community and the compatibility of their values with those of CAMS.

“There is no doubt about Allan Moffat’s achievements as a champion competitor. His four Australian Touring Car Championships, six Sandown wins and four wins at Mount Panorama’s 500 mile and 1000 kilometre races barely scratch the surface of his success,” Papadopoulos said.

“But being a CAMS Ambassador is also about being passionate about motor sport and its advancement, and sharing that passion with our 75,000 CAMS members, from our grass roots level competitors, to our volunteer officials and our affiliated car clubs.

“Allan has remained active in motor sport long after he finished his driving career; both as a team owner and manager and as an administrator through his stint as a director of the Australian Institute of Motor Sport Safety.

“We welcome Allan to the role of CAMS Ambassador and look forward to working together to bring more motor sport to more people.”

SUPPORT LUKE KING FOR BATHURST

Young hard charger Luke King needs your help to get to bathurst. 

In conjunction with HDX they have put together a supporters pack for our debut at the Bathurst 1000 event in the Toyota 86 Racing Series!

Follow the link below to their website to get your order in before the big event!

We are hoping to pump out as many of these as possible, so share with your mates, support Luke King Racing and try some tasty HDX! All proceeds go to Luke King Racing to help support his team and costs for the Bathurst round.

https://hdxmix.com.au/products/lkr-racing-endurance-pack

 

Also visit https://www.facebook.com/lukekingracing111

http://www.nbnnews.com.au/2016/09/26/king-reigns-supreme-at-sandown/

 

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