Russell Ingall says he was pleasantly surprised by how quickly he gelled with Nissan Motorsport and its Altima package during a test at Winton this week.
The veteran cut laps in Rick Kelly’s Sengled Altima at the rural Victorian circuit as part of the four-car team’s test on Tuesday.
Officially tasked with giving feedback to help development, the day was also a chance for the squad to assess Ingall for a possible Pirtek Enduro Cup drive.
Ingall’s laps came after he raced for both the Holden Racing Team and Prodrive as a substitute during last year’s Enduro Cup.
“I really enjoyed the day and working with the team,” said Ingall in a Nissan Motorsport statement.
“You get some teams that you gel with straight away and obviously there’s a few guys here I’ve known for a few years as well.
“I think ‘enjoyable’ is the right term to use, not only from behind the wheel, but also outside the car.
“It never ceases to amaze me that even though under the skin of all of these cars is predominately the same chassis, it’s quite staggering how different it is with the different aero and the shape of them and how each team tunes them.
“You never know what to expect, but I actually felt very comfortable in car straight away.”
Ingall added that Rick and Todd Kelly’s extensive experience with the previous generation V8 Supercars is reflected in the way that the Altimas have been developed.
“There was a big shift in Car of the Future from the previous generation car in how you drive them,” he continued.
“Because Rick and Todd have driven both –with a lot of other guys only having come in during the Car of the Future – so when you’ve done a lot of kays in the older car you’ll have an idea on what makes them quick and somehow incorporate that into this car.
“I think that’s why I like it, the way the Todd and Rick have set them is because they’ve been used to the previous generation of cars.
“A bit of that is involved in this car and I think that’s a good thing.
“Drivers have their own technique, how they like to approach it, I think the Nissan certainly has what I like in a car.
“I like something that is a very stable platform and has a reasonable amount of turn in the car as well.
“It did everything it was supposed to do and I felt good about it out of the gate.
“The ergonomics were a lot different because the Altima has the windscreen so far forward, it’s quite different to the Falcon and Commodore.
“Once you get in the car it felt quite good and the vision was excellent.
“So I really enjoyed it and hopefully I was a help to the team.”
While Ingall is yet to publicly declare intentions of an endurance seat, Rick Kelly told Speedcafe.com on Wednesday that “he’d be an asset to the team if we could get him.”
CLICK HERE for more, including details of Kelly’s crash during the Winton test