Moffat prepared to wait on V8 Supercars future
James Moffat has flagged a desire to remain at Nissan Motorsport in 2016, but says he’s in no rush to conclude a new deal.
The 30-year-old has been part of the Nissan fold since the manufacturer rejoined the championship in 2013 and has scored its only win (Winton, 2013) and pole (Ipswich, 2014) to date.
The team has largely endured a rough run both on and off track, fighting to break out of the mid-pack and secure commercial partners for all four cars.
Moffat is one of several drivers out of contract who will have to think carefully about his next career move, with the proposed Gen2 rules potentially shifting the balance of power in 2017.
With seats at the likes of Prodrive, Walkinshaw Racing, Volvo, Brad Jones and, potentially, DJR Team Penske all still in flux, Moffat insists that there’s no rush to enter serious contract talks.
“We’re not yet at a point in the year where I feel as though I need to be panicking because I don’t have anything locked away,” Moffat told Speedcafe.com when asked of his future.
“If the right deal can be done then my preference is to stay at Nissan and hopefully we can do something there, but obviously there are a lot of factors that need to fall into place for that to happen.
“At the same time it’d be naive of me not to have a look at what’s out there. At this point that’s all I can do.
“I haven’t put too much attention into it yet but hopefully in the next couple of months there’s a bit more clarity about things and we’re a bit closer to sorting a deal wherever that may be.”
Nissan’s drivers continue to wait on a mid-season cylinder head upgrade that is hoped will finally give the Altima the engine performance needed to be a consistent front-runner.
Revelling in the opportunity to reconnect with his former engineer at DJR, Perry Kapper, Moffat is confident that the remainder of the team’s package is strong.
“I think that the team structure we have in place is the best that I’ve felt and for me, working with Perry was two years in the making,” he said, having switched engineers with team-mate Todd Kelly over the off-season.
“I felt that I had a lot of input in getting him to the team at the start of 2013, so to not have the opportunity to work with him over those two years was at times frustrating for me.
“But now to be working with him I guess I’ve been a bit more relaxed and I think that side is a real positive.
“We’ve just got to keep pushing hard, working together as a team and I’m sure we will get some results in the back half of the year.”
Nissan will head to Winton this weekend hopeful of strong results on the tight and twisty Victorian layout, but Moffat is shying away from bold predictions.
“Winton is still certainly a track that should be favourable to us,” he said.
“But the championship is so close that it’s impossible to predict exactly where you’re going to be in the field.
“For us it’s just important that we maximise everything we can get out of the car and be strong across the whole weekend, which is something we’ve been struggling with this year.”
Moffat sits 15th in the championship after nine races with best finishes of seventh at Adelaide and Symmons Plains.