Nissan Motorsport has confirmed it will still field four Nissan Altimas in the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship despite major sponsor Norton withdrawing its backing at the end of the season.
Development of the Altima will also continue as planned regardless of the loss of the major backer.
“Guaranteed, no question there will be four Nissan Altimas on the grid in 2015,” said Nick Ryan, general manager of marketing and sponsorship at Nissan Motorsport.
“This will have absolutely no effect whatsoever, no structural changes whatsoever with the team.
“And there is an unwavering commitment from the Kellys that nothing will alter in any way, shape or form in terms of the development programs and items that have been underway.”
Talks to secure a new source of funding for the two cars that currently run the Norton livery are ongoing.
“We are talking to a lot of people about that and there are some good and healthy discussions going on,” said Ryan. “We have strong confidence we will be able to bring some good brands into the fold.”
According to Ryan, Nissan are assisting in the search for a new sponsor.
“Nissan is doing whatever they can to support us through this process.”
Nissan Motorsport’s deal with Jack Daniel’s also runs out the end of this year but the team don’t see any reason why the partnership will not be renewed.
“They have said publicly it is their firm intention to continue with the team and there will be some positive stuff coming out in the not too distant future,” Ryan said.
Norton began its backing of the two Norton Hornet entries of James Moffat and Michael Caruso at the start of 2013, having moved with Moffat from Dick Johnson Racing.
The withdrawal of Norton’s sponsorship also includes its personal sponsorship of Red Bull Racing Australia driver Craig Lowndes which began seven years ago.
Norton provided the following statement:
“While our involvement in V8 Supercars has been successful, our company has evolved and Norton brand objectives have changed. We hope to identify new opportunities and suitable platforms that will align more closely with our brand promise of making security simpler for our customers.
“We wish Nissan Motorsport, V8 Supercars and all the drivers continued success in the future. Norton would also like to thank Nissan Motorsport and all the drivers for their amazing innovation and strong spirit to win.
“We would also like to extend our thanks to the V8 Supercars fans who have been very supportive of the Norton brand throughout this partnership.”