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Nismo GT-R Bound For 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour, Rick Kelly At The Helm Photo:
 
 
TMR Team | Jul, 17 2013 | 0 Comments

Legendary tuning house Nismo will field a GT3-spec GT-R in next year's Bathurst 12 Hour, with a team led by Nissan V8 Supercar driver Rick Kelly.

And, as a mark of the race's growing stature, the campaign will be run not by Australia's Nismo-supported Nissan Motorsport operation, but directly by Nismo's own Japan-based team.

The announcement comes as part of Nissan's new 'Nismo Global Driver Exchange' program, which means that Kelly will be joined by Nismo pilots from across its global motorsport operation.

Nismo already races extensively in Europe, including the GT3 series with its track-specific GT-R cars, along with the Le Man Series and World Endurance Championship with the LMP2 car.

The news also follows Nissan's entry into this year's V8 Supercar championship, snatching Rick Kelly and brother Todd away from the Holden camp.

“Mount Panorama is one of the world’s iconic racing circuits and the Nissan GT-R has incredible history there," Nissan Global Motorsport Director, Darren Cox said.

The race won't be Kelly's first time at the mountain, having competed in 'the great race' 12 times and winning it twice. It will, however, be his first run in the Bathurst 12 Hour.

“I haven’t competed in the Bathurst 12 Hour before, and for me, it’s because I haven’t had the right opportunity. Certainly this one is the right opportunity, and it will be the first time I’ve driven something other than a V8 Supercar in a while," Kelly said.

“Nismo has kept a very keen eye on our V8 Supercars program since we announced we were bringing Nissan back to the sport here in Australia. We’ve had strong and open dialogue with them and I think this is the start of what we can make happen in the future."

Nismo's 2014 run at the mountain will also mark the first time a factory-backed Nissan GT-R has competed there since Jim Richards and Mark Skaife's back-to-back wins in 1991 and 1992.

 
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