Pukekohe, New Zealand – The Nissan Motorsport Supercars squad finished just outside the top 10 following a weekend of wild racing at the Auckland SuperSprint.
The first race's qualifying session was cancelled due to heavy rain, which forced the grid to be set from Friday's practice times. Ultimately, the weather had little impact on Saturday's shortened 66-lap race.
Rick Kelly started the race from 13th and crossed the line as the highest placed Nissan in 11th, benefitting from a dry-weather setup on his Nissan Altima.
In the second race of the weekend, Nissan Motorsport showed strong pace. All four Altimas moved up the order and improved on their qualifying position at the conclusion of 70 laps around Pukekohe Park Raceway.
Michael Caruso finished as the highest placed Nissan driver in 11th position at the end of the 200km race. The No. 23 Nissan NISMO driver started in 13th and charged inside the top 10 early on. After dropping a few places following the first round of pit stops, Caruso was able to recover and earn valuable points in the Team's Championship.
"It was a good battle throughout the race," Caruso said.
"We had strong pace across the afternoon and the car felt great. We were able to dial out most of the things that had hampered us earlier in the weekend. So, by the time the race arrived, we had a pretty good package.
"It would have been great to finish inside the top 10, and I thought that was on the cards, but it just didn’t work out in the end.”
The team will now set its sights on finishing the season on a high note at the championship’s final round to be held at the Newcastle street circuit, north of Sydney, on November 24-26.
"Newcastle will be a very exciting way to end the year. This is a brand new track for everyone, and the design looks like it will provide some good racing,” Caruso said.
"There’s still plenty of Team’s Championship points on the line, so we’ll keep working hard and battling to the end of the season."