Caruso confident of Nissan Supercars future
Michael Caruso is confident that Nissan will continue with the Kelly brothers next season, paving the way for his own new contract with the team.
Caruso took Nissan’s second ever Supercars win at Hidden Valley on Saturday, finally adding to James Moffat’s controversial success from Winton, 2013.
The result comes as negotiations continue to drag on between Nissan Australia and Nismo’s global management about the future of the Supercars program.
Caruso has been with the Kelly family owned squad since it converted to Nissan three seasons ago, enduring a long struggle to make the Altima package competitive.
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Although the team continues to wait on word from Nissan, Caruso is in no doubts that the deal will be extended.
“Definitely,” Caruso told Speedcafe.com when asked if he is confident that Nissan will continue.
“It’s something that I feel that they want to do and this type of stuff, winning a race, is important.
“I’m sure it’ll kick some wheels in motion which are already happening but hopefully a bit faster.”
At 33-years-old, Caruso’s next contract will play a vital role in setting up the remainder of his Supercars career.
The Melbourne-based driver admits he’ll need to make the best decision for his own future, but is adamant that he’ll do all he can to stay loyal to the Kellys.
“It’s not within me to not give the team the first right of refusal whether it’s in a contract or not,” he said.
“We’ve all worked so hard and been through hard times together and winning is why I came here.
“The brothers have been good to me. We’ve always been open with each other.”
Team co-owner Todd Kelly stressed the team’s desire to keep Caruso, but admits that a Nissan deal will need to be confirmed first.
“The reason why the win happened is the consistency with Michael and Steven (Toddkill, engineer),” Kelly told Speedcafe.com.
“It’s a genuine relationship where Michael is passionate about the team and has been through the hard times getting to where we are.
“We’d love to try and keep that deal happening, but a lot needs to fall into place first.”
Kelly, who had a strong run to seventh in Race 12, added that Caruso’s win was a boost for the whole team.
“It’s really what we needed because the blokes have just worked so hard for so long without getting that result,” he said.
“It was a huge relief and I couldn’t be happier or prouder of what we’ve done.
“We’re heading in the right direction, which is the important thing.
“We need to keep building on the confidence and momentum that this gives us.”