It’s an exciting time for Castrol and Nissan Motorsport (formally Kelly Racing/Perkins Engineering), with the launch of Castrol Racing for the 2018 Supercars season. As part of the expanded partnership, the #15 Castrol Racing Nissan Altima will be lubricated with Castrol EDGE, boosted with Fluid Titanium. “Castrol’s commitment to innovation gives us the confidence that we can perform at the top of Australian Motorsport,” explains Team Owner and Driver Rick Kelly, “as a team we’ve seen that over the last 10 years.”. With memorable Bathurst 1000 wins in the Castrol Commodores with Larry Perkins and Russell Ingall in 1995 and ‘97 (Perkins Engineering) it has been an amazing journey with Castrol and the team, and Castrol has continued to play a major role in the research and development of the team and its lubricants.
Rick Kelly has tasted success at the highest level in Supercars – as both a driver and team owner. The now-Nissan driver won the 2006 Supercars Championship, to go with back-to-back Bathurst 1000 victories with Greg Murphy in ’03 and ’04. Running his own team under the Nissan Motorsport banner with older brother Todd, Kelly is hoping to not only take his squad to the top, but bring his own racing fortunes back to the forefront.
Simona De Silvestro
Swiss-born racer Simona de Silvestro became the first full-time female driver in the Supercars era last year when she joined Nissan Motorsport. De Silvestro had two forays in a Supercar as a wildcard at Bathurst in 2015 and ’16. Before entering Supercars, De Silvestro was a regular in Formula E and IndyCar across 2015 and ’16 though Andretti Autosport.
Nissan Motorsport’s best-placed driver in the 2017 championship, Michael Caruso continues in the factory-backed #23 Altima this season. The Sydneysider’s attention turned to Supercars in 2004, finishing second in the Dunlop Super2 Series in ’07 to secure a step up to the main game with Garry Rogers Motorsport the following season. A best Bathurst result of second with Lee Holdsworth and maiden race win at Hidden Valley came in 2009, with Caruso leaving to join Nissan as it entered Supercars in ’13.
Andre Heimgartner returns to full-time Supercars competition in 2018, replacing the now-retired Todd Kelly at Nissan Motorsport. Alongside an NZ V8SuperTourer Series campaign, he made his debut in the Dunlop Super2 Series in 2013, with his efforts over the next two seasons enough to catch the eye of the new Super Black Racing. He moved to Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport in 2016 and finished 25th in the championship, but looked set to go through last year without racing a Supercar.