Jack Daniel’s Racing Set for Sandown Enduro; Norton Hornets Eager to Kick Off V8 Enduro Cup

Jack Daniel's Racing set for Sandown enduro; Norton Hornets eager to kick off V8 Enduro Cup

September 2014 test


MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia – Following a pair of promising rounds and a successful test day, the Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altimas are set for the first two-driver endurance race of the season, the Sandown 500.

Teaming up with Todd Kelly aboard the number 7 machine is Nissan factory driver Alex Buncombe, who will be making his V8 Supercars debut at the event.

The Brit tested with Jack Daniel's Racing at the season opening Sydney Motorsport Park test day, with the event following on from his debut in the Bathurst 12 Hour, where he partnered Rick Kelly in a Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3.

No stranger to endurance racing, Buncombe utilized the varied conditions at the recent Winton Raceway test day to familiarize himself further with the V8 Supercar Altima.

Rick Kelly meanwhile will team up with experienced co-driver David Russell, who is lining up for his fourth successive endurance race tilt with Jack Daniel's Racing.

Like Buncombe, Russell has extensive recent experience in GT3 competition, both domestically and internationally.

Both of the Kelly brothers have form on the board at Sandown, with Todd winning the 2003 Sandown 500 alongside Mark Skaife, while Rick was victorious in 2011 for Jack Daniel's Racing, when he blitzed the field in the wet, winning from pole position.

On track action kicks off on September 12 with three practice sessions, followed by a final practice, a 20 minute qualifying session and two 20 lap qualifying races on Saturday, ahead of Sunday's 500km long race.

Todd Kelly - #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima

"It's shaping up really well. There are a lot of positives in having Alex on board. It's a fresh approach to teaming up with someone who hasn't had a lot of miles in our cars. He's a perfect size as far as seat fit is concerned, we haven't really had to modify anything, the driver changes are good, and all of those things are shaping up well. Following our test day at Winton, where he had a little bit of dry and a little bit of wet running, practice starts and pit stops, all of the things he needs to know, he had a good run at. He got to the point where he was pretty comfortable in the car. I'm looking forward to Sandown; it's a good home event, and it's close to home and close to the race shop. Hopefully we can have a good clean weekend, the cars should be pretty good around that place, over the curbs and over the different sections of track, whether it's wet or dry. We're looking forward to it."

Alex Buncombe - #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima

It's a fantastic opportunity for me. Thanks to Nissan and everyone involved who has been able to make this possible. I can't wait to get to Sandown for race weekend. It's been good to get a test in at Winton, and get a bit of experience in the car. We had both dry and wet weather running, and with a reasonable chance of getting those conditions at Sandown. It's good to have experienced the car in various situations."

Rick Kelly - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima

"It's great to have Dave in the car. It's really good consistency for us. He has been with Jack Daniel's Racing now for a number of years, which is great. He's an absolute pleasure to work with and very handy in the car as well. It's an exciting time of year. I'm a big fan of the endurance season. Our Championship really is quite diverse. We're heading into three very different rounds now; in particular the Sandown event is an exciting one. 500km these days goes pretty quick, so you need to be on your toes to get a result."

David Russell - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima

"I can't wait to be honest. We had a great test at Winton, and I feel really comfortable in the car. Because I'm not a full time driver in this particular car, it's really important for me to get a good feel for the car, a good feel for the brakes, the handling and any changes that have been made in the past year. For me, I'm really confident heading in, and I can't wait to get on track and get amongst it."

Norton Hornets eager to kick off V8 Enduro Cup

The Norton Hornets feel they are ready to challenge the V8 hot shots at the Sandown 500 this weekend.

After a productive test at Winton Motor Raceway last week, the pair of Norton Nissans is aiming to fight for top finishing places at the Sandown race – the traditional lead-up event to the famous Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama.

The V8 Supercars endurance season brings with it a new set of challenges – two drivers in each car, plus long distance races that will see the best-prepared teams take the most reward.

For regular Norton drivers James Moffat and Michael Caruso and their co-drivers, it is a case of familiar territory and new ground.

Moffat will be partnered by Taz Douglas, the same teammate he drove with in 2013. Last year, their Sandown 500 was dogged with mechanical issues, and both Moffat and Douglas are keen to put a decent result on the board at the outer-Melbourne track.

For Caruso, he will be paired with Dean Fiore. The West Australian has been a lead driver in his own right for the past five years, but after stepping out of a full-time seat at the start of this season, he was snatched up by Nissan Motorsport to partner Caruso. While the pair has never raced together, it is one of the most experienced V8 combinations in the Sandown 500 field.

Track action kicks off on Friday with three practice sessions. Saturday's format is jam-packed, with practice, qualifying plus two qualifying races. Sunday will see a morning warm-up followed by the 500km race at 1:40 p.m. local time.

James Moffat, #360 Norton Nissan Altima

"I'm looking forward to the event. For me, the Sandown 500 is the second biggest race of the year. It's an event that has a huge amount of history in our sport and it's one of those races that everyone wants to win. I enjoy the track. It's unique with the grandstand down the front straight and the atmosphere it creates. I'm just looking forward to getting stuck into it because I love the endurance races – it's the best time of our season. It's also very important for us to get the Enduro Cup off to the best possible start. My co-driver Taz has slotted back into the team without a problem. He drove with us last year so it's great to have some continuity. We just need to go there, put our heads down and do the best we can."

Taz Douglas, #360 Norton Nissan Altima co-driver

"Like most of the events that the team has gone into this year, it's going to be a bit of an unknown for us. Compared to last year, the Nissan package has improved, and if we get everything right and a few things roll our way, we should be in for a solid result. James has been getting the car sorted the past couple of rounds which is positive. I'm feeling pretty confident. I went OK at the test, so I think we should be reasonably strong."

Michael Caruso, #36 Norton Nissan Altima

"I always look forward to racing at Sandown – it's close to home, plus it's one of the events that the fans can see virtually the whole track at any point. I'm looking forward to driving with Dean. He has settled in really well. He is easy to work with and I have a feeling he's going to do a good job for us. This is the start to the Pirtek Enduro Cup, so we want some good consistent results, and it would be nice to get off to a good start at Sandown."

Dean Fiore, #36 Norton Nissan Altima co-driver

"I'm really excited. I've never been a co-driver before – I've only ever been the lead driver – so it's a little different for me. But I know my job. We need to make sure Michael is 100 percent comfortable, so I'm here to do the best for his championship. After the test days we've had, I'm feeling good in the car and I'm super confidant that we can do a good job. Michael's recent form has been very encouraging. He has a really good understanding of the car, just like his engineer Steven (Todkill). Their bond seems really strong and I can see that the overall understanding and unity in car #36 is very tight."

CREDIT: http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/releases/jack-daniel-s-racing-set-for-sandown-enduro-norton-hornets-eager-to-kick-off-v8-enduro-cup

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Michael Caruso seals super podium result at Albert Park

Michael Caruso seals super podium result at Albert Park 


MELBOURNE - Michael Caruso has secured a deserved podium place at the Albert Park street circuit last weekend.

Caruso, driving the Norton/beyondblue Nissan Altima, finished third, enough to secure third overall for the Grand Prix event.
Caruso dropped back through the pack early, but with some great speed aboard his #300 beyondblue Altima, Caruso raced his way through the pack, eventually pipping Garth Tander at the finish line for third overall.
Caruso's Norton teammate James Moffat was very competitive, running as high as fourth until he was the innocent victim in a clash with Nissan teammate Rick Kelly and Red Bull driver Jamie Whincup.
The next event on the V8 Supercars Championship calendar takes us Symmons Plains Raceway in Tasmania in two weeks time.
Michael Caruso, #300 Norton/beyondblue Nissan Altima
"It's an absolutely brilliant result for Norton, beyondblue and Nissan. We started fifth and got crushed back to eighth. It was on for young and old out there and I was getting hit at every corner of the car. To manage to climb back up to third, it was a testament to the fantastic car speed that we had. It was as good as it's been this weekend. And to get Garth over the line, it makes the result even sweeter."
James Moffat, #360 Norton Nissan Altima
"Before the Safety Car, the speed of the car was fantastic. I was definitely pulling in Fabian (Coulthard) who was wounded with a flat spotted tire, but I felt it was just a matter of time before we reeled him. It was a great effort by the boys. They tuned it up over night and the changes definitely worked. That was one positive. Obviously, the result wasn't fantastic, but I was a victim of other people's accidents. That's motor racing, though. It's a shame for the guys, because they'll be fixing the car when they probably shouldn't have to be. I'm more encouraged now, because we have a bit of speed back in the old girl, and that's something to look forward to for the rest of the year."
Sunday trouble at the Australian Grand Prix
In other Altima V8 Supercar news, the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend ended on a low note for Jack Daniel's Racing drivers Todd and Rick Kelly, with both Nissan Altimas striking trouble on the streets of Albert Park.
The pair made solid progress in the early running of the fourth and final heat for the weekend, but Todd's race unraveled after the halfway mark of the 12-lap journey when his car suffered a sudden cooling issue.
Todd immediately parked the car to save damaging the engine, with the safety car called upon to remove his vehicle from the circuit.
Rick then made solid progress from the ensuing restart, but at the entry to turn nine, contact sent the car out of control into James Moffat and Jamie Whincup.
Stuck in the sand trap, Rick was classified a non-finisher.
The V8 Supercar Championship now moves south, with the Tyrepower Tasmania 400 scheduled for March 28-30 at Symmons Plains Raceway.
TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima:
Race 4- DNF
"The weekend was looking not too bad, we had the potential to have all four cars in the top-ten for most of the weekend, and we've only come back with one car in the end. It's disappointing, but the speed from the cars has been pleasing. We'll bounce back at Symmons Plains."
RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Racing Nissan Altima:
Race 4- DNF
"It was the exact opposite of what we hoped for. Sunday at the AGP always goes a little bit crazy with double points, and there was some really good fierce racing out there. We got a couple of good restarts and moved forward a little bit, and unfortunately we went under another car there and caught his back wheel when he moved over a bit.
"It sent me in the air, and it was a bit out of control from there to be honest. Once I climbed on the brakes I couldn't do much, it took us out, and it took (James) Moffat out as well, which is really disappointing because the last thing you want to have is for team cars to come together. No doubt we are all quite disappointed by that, the car pace was really good, in our car we made really good improvements today. That's as good as we could have hoped for from the weekend, we got (Michael) Caruso on the podium, we've now got to focus on Tasmania."
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Cars.com selects Nissan Sentra and Versa sedan to its “Top 10 Cheapest New Cars You Can Buy” list

Cars.com selects Nissan Sentra and Versa sedan to its "Top 10 Cheapest New Cars You Can Buy" list


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - For Nissan, affordability meets uncompromised fuel efficiency and modern technology. This week, Cars.com, the leading online resource for buying and selling new and used cars, recognized two Nissan vehicles – Sentra and Versa Sedan – in its "Top 10 Cheapest New Cars You Can Buy" list, which identifies vehicles with the lowest sticker price and fuel costs on the market. Nissan was the only manufacturer with more than one vehicle on the list.

The 2014 Nissan Versa Sedan S Plus ranked third on the list with a starting price of $13,790** and 35 mpg combined highway/city fuel economy. The 2014 Nissan Sentra S with Xtronic transmission finished tenth with a starting price of $16,790** and 34 mpg combined highway/city fuel economy.
To create the list, Cars.com editors calculated sticker price and destination fees plus eight year fuel cost to decide which vehicles deliver the biggest "financial bang for your hard-earned buck." With starting price and eight-year fuel cost combined, the Sentra totaled $29,247, and the Versa Sedan amounted to $25,914. The last time Cars.com ran this test was in 2008, when the 2008 Versa placed sixth with a total cost of $30,002. While the price remains remarkably low, the fuel efficiency and technological advancement of the vehicles – including available technologies such as Bluetooth® and NissanConnect™ with Navigation – are as impressive as ever.
"Both Sentra and Versa Sedan feature notable fuel economy, advanced technology options, and an economical starting price that even the most frugal buyers can appreciate," said Dan Mohnke, vice president, Nissan Chief Marketing Manager & Marketing Operations. "In addition to impressive fuel economy and advanced technology, Sentra features a high-quality interior design with soft-touch instrument panel and door armrests, while Versa Sedan offers the most rear legroom in its class*. We're providing our buyers more for each dollar they pay, and we're honored to be recognized by Cars.com."
The affordable Nissan Sentra compact sedan offers a "class above" look and feel inside and out, along with refined performance and features. Its fuel-efficient 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine helps deliver 34 mpg combined highway/city fuel economy and a more than 415-mile real-world driving range. Available technology includes NissanConnectTM with Navigation and NissanConnectTM Apps smartphone integration for iPhone® and Android, Bose® Premium audio system with eight speakers, Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System and RearView Monitor.
The popular Nissan Versa Sedan continues to redefine entry-level car value. It combines a sophisticated exterior design, well-appointed interior and exceptional room for five adults – including more rear legroom than some mid-size sedans. Versa Sedan is marked by innovations such as an available affordable integrated navigation system and standard 1.6-liter engine with an advanced dual fuel injection system, which helps produce 40 mpg highway fuel economy. Versa Sedan is offered in four models: S, S Plus, SV and SL.
To view Cars.com's full top 10 list, including a full explanation of the methodology behind the calculations, please visit http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2014/02/top-10-cheapest-new-cars-you-can-buy.html#more.
Credit: http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/releases/cars-com-selects-nissan-sentra-and-versa-sedan-to-its-top-10-cheapest-new-cars-you-can-buy-list?page=3&query
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Jack Daniels Racing Takes on the Altima

Jack Daniels Racing Takes on the Altima

MELBOURNE, Australia - Jack Daniel's Racing has unveiled its new war paint for the 2014 V8 Supercar Championship, with Rick and Todd Kelly set to return to the wheel of their Nissan Altimas.

For Nissan Motorsport's second season in Australia's premiere motorsport category, the pair of distinctive black and white Altimas will sport a refined paint scheme, as well as a revised aerodynamics package, with changes made to the front bar and rear wing supports.

Outside of the aesthetic changes to the racecar, continuity is the key for the outfit, with a continuation of the same driver, chassis and sponsor package from 2013, which saw Rick Kelly claim a solid 14th in the final season standings.

Importantly for Jack Daniel's, this year marks its ninth successive season of major team sponsorship in the class, making the involvement one of the longest serving on the grid.

The first time the new-look Jack Daniel's Racing machines will be seen on track for 2014 will be this weekend at the Sydney.com Test Day at Sydney Motorsport Park, with the season proper commencing at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide from February 27 to March 2.


TODD KELLY - #7 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima

"I'm very excited to be at the beginning of our second year, as the whole thing's quite an unknown for us," said Todd Kelly.

"We've had a pretty good crack at our first year, and we achieved a lot, in my opinion, when you consider the work that has gone on behind the scenes to develop the VK56 engine, and our first attempt at turning the Nissan Altima into a race car.

"All in all, it wasn't too bad a year last year. The guys have all been working extremely hard through the second half of last year, and especially through the offseason to develop a new aero kit for the car, which we haven't used on a race track yet.

"Hopefully that has given us the gain that we are looking for."

RICK KELLY - #15 Jack Daniel's Nissan Altima

"We've sat down with the team and analyzed our strengths and weaknesses, and what we have to do to improve ourselves, and the results that we've got, and we're ready to implement that now," said Rick Kelly.

"It's really exciting; the team have worked really hard over the summer, and the last six months in fact to develop and aero package that's going to be a lot stronger for us in 2014 than what we saw in 2013.

"To match that and to get the most out of that, we've got to do a better job in all of the other areas that it takes to be successful on the track.

"That's everything from engineering, to driving, to the strategy. For us, we're very excited that we have a new opportunity in 2014 and to make the most out of it."

MICHAEL McSHANE - Managing Director, Brown-Forman Australia & New Zealand

"Jack Daniel's is excited to continue its association with Nissan Motorsport for the 2014 V8 Supercar Championship.  Last year was a learning season for the team, and with that experience taken on board, we are looking forward to strong results in 2014," said Michael McShane.

"Both Rick and Todd are great sportsmen, role models, and ambassadors of the Jack Daniel's brand, and through their efforts over the years, they have continued to build our responsible drinking message in this vital market.

"V8 Supercar remains the pinnacle of motorsport in Australia, and we look forward to an exhilarating season ahead."


CREDIT: http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/releases/jack-daniel-s-racing-ups-the-ante-in?page=2

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