Nissan repairing Moffat Altima after testing crash

James Moffat

James Moffat

Nissan Motorsport is today repairing James Moffat’s Norton-backed Altima after a crash during testing at Winton.

The four Nissan entries had been on track at the rural Victorian circuit as part of a two-day program that included running internationals Lucas Ordonez and Michael Krumm on Monday.

Moffat’s incident occurred late on Tuesday, with the back of the #360 Altima making significant contact with the tyre barriers at the exit of Turn 4 after dropping a wheel off the circuit on turn-in.

Moffat told Speedcafe.com that the damage appeared worse than it was and that the team will likely have the car repaired within a day.

“We were just pushing on trying to get the most out of the car, made a mistake and paid the price,” he said.

“I’m pretty dirty on myself, I don’t usually do stuff like that, but it’s one of those things.

“There’s not much run-off there and the sand trap did all it could but we still hit the tyres.”

Despite the corner having been the scene of several incidents in the past, including a crash which saw Lee Holdsworth hospitalised in 2007, Moffat refused to blame the circuit design for the damage.

“Apart from moving the wall backwards I’m not sure what they can can really do,” he said of the right-hander.

“At the end of the day if you don’t do what I did then it’s not going to be a drama!”

The Winton test was the first for Nissan since the season started at the Clipsal 500 in March.

Although hamstrung by the Altima’s engine package, Moffat has impressed during the first 24 races, currently sitting just two places behind team leader Rick Kelly in 15th on the points table.

While coming events at Sandown and Bathurst look set to be a struggle for Nissan, Moffat expects that this month’s Winton meeting will provide an opportunity to add to the seven top 10 finishes he has scored so far.

“On paper Winton should be the track that we suffer the least with the engine,” he said.

“I’d like to think that if we can get it all together on the weekend we can run inside the top 10.

“We tried some stuff yesterday that seemed like an improvement, particularly to the feel of the car, but there are still all those question marks about what tyre quality you’re on and what track conditions were like on the day.

“It was interesting having the international guys there on the Monday; they were shaking their heads at having to test with old tyres.

“When Michael Krumm goes testing in Japan with the GT500 cars they have 12 sets of new tyres ready to go; it’s all they run on.

“That’s a topic that’s often spoke about, the regulations on the tyres. It’s frustrating, but it’s the same for everybody.”

This season marks the third in Moffat’s V8 Supercars Championship career following a two-year stint at Dick Johnson Racing.

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