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Nissan ready for Bathurst 12 Hour defence after successful Phillip Island test

Nissan Australia racing season GT-T GT3 2016 1

Phillip Island, Australia: NISMO Athlete Global Team drivers Rick Kelly and have enjoyed a successful test at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Victoria, Australia.

The test, vital preparation as Nissan aims to defend its Bathurst 12 Hour crown, saw the #1 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 complete over 50 laps in varying weather conditions.

Kelly, Strauss and the NISMO Athlete Global Team were pleased with the speed and progress shown at the fast and flowing Phillip Island circuit, the perfect place to prepare for next week’s challenge at Mount Panorama.

Earlier in the day, Kelly and Strauss unveiled the new-look Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 that they will share with Katsumasa Chiyo next week.

The trio will aim to emulate the success of the Nissan GT-R in 1991-92 and take Nissan to back-to-back wins at Mount Panorama.

“To drive this car at Phillip Island was a real privilege,” said Kelly. “It is such a special track and such a special car – I was so excited to get out there, do some laps and get comfortable before the 12 Hour.

“Obviously, the NISMO team did an amazing job to win the race last year. There’s a little bit of pressure for us to go back there and do that again.

“I think our chances are good, but it’s such a long day. After a solid test day, we’re in a really good position.”

Strauss was also impressed with the test session.

“It was a good day, especially in the morning with some really great weather,” said Strauss.

Nissan Australia racing season GT-T GT3 V8 Supercars Altima 2016

“It was good to shake the car down, see how the balance of the car is and get Rick some laps.

“We’re now all ready for Bathurst. We have a good, strong line-up. Rick has a lot of experience at Bathurst, and with a new model 2015 version of the GT-R, it should be a little quicker around the mountain.

“But it is a crazy race, so if we can keep going, we’ll have a good opportunity to be on the podium again.”

Also unveiled was Michael Caruso’s #23 NISMO Nissan Altima V8 Supercars, which will again race in the company’s global motorsport colours in 2016.