Michael Caruso will carry Nissan’s most famous racing number this year as his Nissan Altima adopts the number 23 for the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship.
Caruso will race the #23 NISMO Nissan Altima, which will race in official Nissan NISMO colors and now also carry the manufacturer’s official racing number.
“Two” in Japanese is pronounced as “ni” and “three” as “san,” making “Ni – San” (twenty three) the favored racing number for Nissan and NISMO globally.
In 2015, the #23 will be used by the innovative Nissan GT-R LM NISMO in the Le Mans 24 Hours and World Endurance Championship in the premier LM P1 class.
The NISMO entry in the Super GT Championship also wore the famous number when the #23 Motul Autech Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500 won last year’s title. The Nissan GT-R also carried #23 to Super GT Championship victories in 1998, 2003 and 2008.
Other Nissan victories of note that featured #23 race cars include the 1992 Daytona 24 Hours (#23 Nissan R91CP), 1999 British Touring Car Championship (#23 Nissan Primera) and 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship (#23 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT1).
The Nissan GT-R LM NISMO will not be the first Nissan race car to wear #23 at Le Mans, with the Nissan GT-R LM and Nissan R390 both racing with the famous number at Circuit de Le Sarthe in the 1990s
Nissan’s global GT3 program also features the #23, with the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN entry at the recent 2015 Dubai 24 Hours scoring a fifth place (and second in class) finish in the #23 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.
Following on from that strong result, the NISMO Athlete Global Team took victory at the 2015 Bathurst 12 Hour earlier this month in the #35 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 (#35 a nod to the R35 model Nissan GT-R) with drivers Katsumasa Chiyo, Wolfgang Reip and Florian Strauss.
Caruso’s first hit-out in the #23 NISMO Nissan Altima V8 Supercar will be at the Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide this weekend, alongside his three factory Nissan team-mates James Moffat (#99 Nissan Altima), Rick Kelly (#15 Nissan Altima) and Todd Kelly (#7 Nissan Altima).
Richard Emery – Managing Director and CEO, Nissan Motor Co. Australia:
“One of our ambitions this year is to present our V8 Supercars program as a key component of Nissan and NISMO’s broader global motorsport activities,” said Emery.
“We have done this previously through our involvement in the NISMO Global Driver Exchange, our inclusion in GT Academy and the cooperation between NISMO and Nissan Motorsport on the development of our Altima V8 Supercars and at Mount Panorama for the Bathurst 12 Hour.
“This year we are further enhancing these global links, most visibly with the Nissan NISMO livery on Michael Caruso’s Altima V8 Supercar, and now with the race number on this car moving to the traditional Nissan racing number in #23.
“Hopefully Michael and the team can add to the long list of success enjoyed by Nissan and NISMO race cars carrying the famous #23.”
Michael Caruso, #23 NISMO Nissan Altima V8 Supercar:
“It is a great privilege for me to race using the #23 this year,” said Caruso.
“The plan at the start of the year was for me to use the #10, which was a number I’d used in my early racing years, but the opportunity to embrace Nissan’s own #23 was too good to pass up.
“As the official factory team of Nissan in Australia, it makes sense that we have the #23 somewhere in our four car program, and it made even more sense this year now that my Altima is using the official factory color scheme.
“I can’t wait to get it out onto the circuit at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide this week.”
Significant Victories for Nissan NISMO using #23:
1992 Daytona 24 Hour Win – #23 Nissan R91CP
1998 Super GT Championship – #23 Nissan GT-R
1999 British Touring Car Championship – #23 Nissan Primera
2003 Super GT Championship – #23 Nissan GT-R
2008 Super GT Championship – #23 Nissan GT-R
2011 FIA GT1 World Championship – #23 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT1
2014 Super GT Championship – #23 Nissan GT-R
(See accompanying infographic for more information about #23 Nissan NISMO race cars).