Nissan Motorsport has issued the first image of its subtly upgraded Altima V8 Supercar ahead of the 2014 season.
The car’s aerodynamic package features shallower front bar scallops and revised rear wing uprights in the team’s attempts to reduce drag from its initial 2013 effort.
The wing plane now sits further back relative to the bootlid thanks to the tweaked uprights, which remain mounted in the centre of the boot.
The team had designed, manufactured and straightline tested an end-plate mounted wing late last year, which team owner and driver Todd Kelly says did not produce the drag reduction desired.
The new kit is the product of his Melbourne-based outfit collaborating closely with Nissan’s Computational Fluid Dynamics partners in the United Kingdom.
“The task we set ourselves was to lower the drag without making any change at all to the downforce levels,” Kelly told Speedcafe.com.
“Last year we made the other version (end-plate) while the CFD work was happening and once we’d crunched all those numbers we decided to stick with that (centre-mounted) direction.”
Kelly emphasised his team’s eagerness to validate the performance of the package at V8 Supercars’ Sydney Motorsport Park pre-season test day on February 15.
“We’re confident that what we’ve got will be a good package but until we get the cars on the track in Sydney we won’t know for sure,” he said.
“There’s been a lot of work put in on the computer and the straightline running but how they go in a pack of cars and at the end of the straight will really tell if it’s done the job.”
The team has been busily producing the revised components for its four-car effort ahead of Sydney.
“It’s going to be about as tight as last year,” he said of the timeframes involved.
“We’ll have spares by Clipsal (the opening round in Adelaide two weeks later) but for Sydney we’ve been flat-out producing enough to go across the four cars.”
Like the aero pieces, the Norton livery that will be used on the James Moffat and Michael Caruso driven entries is also largely the same as that seen last year.
The duo finished 18th and 23rd in the championship standings respectively in 2013 and have higher expectations for the program’s second season.
“Motor racing is a ‘must deliver’ business, but more so for Nissan Motorsport this year,” said Moffat, whose race win at Winton in August was the clear highlight of his 2013 campaign.
“In this industry, nothing speaks stronger than results, and that’s what we are here to achieve this year.
“It’s difficult to have any expectations before the season starts, as we’ll be heading into the new year with a new package.
“Until we hit the track for the first time at the Sydney test, we won’t be getting too carried away with expectations.
“Hopefully it will be an improvement, and I’m sure it will be, so all we can do is head to the test, put our best foot forward and have a productive day.”
Added Caruso: “It’s important that we show strong improvement in our second year, and it’s critical that we start to win races.
“Whether that happens straight away, I’m not sure, but as more upgrades come through, then all the signs are there that we can start challenging on a week-to-week basis.
“As a driver, you aspire to be in a position to head to every race track with a realistic chance of winning, and I feel that we’re not far away from being in that place.”
The livery that the Todd and Rick Kelly-driven Jack Daniel’s entries will sport this season is expected to be released on Wednesday.