Nissan Motorsport has announced that Dale Wood will join the team for the 2016 V8 Supercars Championship.
Wood will depart Brad Jones Racing at the end of the season, replacing the Volvo-bound James Moffat.
Having raced part-time for the squad in 2009 and in the 2010 endurance races in its former guise as Kelly Racing, the 2013 Dunlop Series champion is thrilled to be making the step up to a factory seat for 2016.
“I’m really excited to be joining the factory backed Nissan Motorsport Team,” said Wood.
“It’s such a competitive environment in this sport and it takes a few years to find your feet. I see this as an important step in my career to move up the grid and help develop myself as a driver.
“I’d like to thank everyone at BJR for the last two seasons. I’ve really enjoyed working with such a good bunch of people and I look forward to finishing the year strongly with them. Achieving the first podium for car #21 was a real highlight and good reward for the hard work the team put in.
“This decision to move to Nissan is designed to help me achieve those results more consistently.
“The last two years have been spent learning and understanding the category and familiarising myself with all the circuits we go to. Knowing Rick and Todd quite well, I see this as a great environment – to not only help me achieve what I want with my driving but to also bring results to the team.
“I’ve watched Nissan since they joined the category in 2013 and there is no manufacturer that is as active within the sport. So to be able to join the team now is very exciting.”
Wood currently sits 21st in the V8 Supercars Championship standings with a season best finish of eighth in Darwin, but having scored his first V8 Supercars podium in 2014 with a third place finish at Winton Motor Raceway and qualifying third at the 2014 Bathurst 1000, team co-owner Rick Kelly believes the 32-year-old can fulfil his potential and demonstrate his speed with Nissan Motorsport.
“Todd and I, as well as the whole Nissan Motorsport Team are excited to have Dale Wood on board for 2016,” said Rick Kelly.
“Signing a new driver was a hot topic and something that we spend a lot of time considering. It’s not an easy decision. You have to take all things into account and be able to predict what a driver would be able to bring to our team within our environment, not necessarily what they are achieving in their current environment.
“We consider Dale to be a driver that hasn’t yet reached his potential and look forward to working with him to achieve that. He has the raw speed to be able to achieve results. After all, you don’t get a podium in this game, or qualify third at Bathurst, by accident.
“When we signed James Moffat to our team at the start of 2012, it was a similar situation, in that we saw him as a driver who, entering his third full-time season, had the potential to achieve strong results in the right environment. James went on to score his first podium and win, his first pole position and his first Bathurst 1000 podium with our team. We believe that the same opportunity and potential now lies ahead of Dale as he enters what will be his third full-time season in the V8 Supercars Championship.
“It is also nice to have Dale back as a part of our team after he put in so much work behind-the-scenes as we worked to establish our team in 2009.”