Jack Daniel’s Racing has kicked off a year of celebrations, with the livery launch of Rick Kelly’s Nissan Altima for season 2015, which pays tribute to a decade in the sport for the world’s leading Tennessee Whiskey brand.
In ticking over 10 years of involvement in Australian V8 Supercars and a total of 316 races to date, Jack Daniel’s is now one of the longest serving major sponsors on the grid.
Since the commencement of this support, Jack Daniel’s has used the V8 Supercars platform to promote a responsible drinking message, with the “Pace Yourself, Drink Responsibly” phrase being widely promoted, including on the race car livery and merchandise.
Away from the track, the commitment to responsible drinking has seen the brand work closely with government bodies, such as the SA MAC (Motor Accident Commission), largely focusing on the promotion of safe driving initiatives.
Jack Daniel’s entry into the category came in 2006 on the Perkins Motorsport cars of Steven Richards and Paul Dumbrell, with Richards taking the first victory for the brand that year in the Australian Grand Prix support races, while also claiming the overall round victory at Barbagallo Raceway.
Todd Kelly joined the outfit in 2008, and took the first Championship race win for Jack Daniel’s at Symmons Plains, before the sponsorship moved to Kelly Racing in 2009, with Todd joined by younger brother Rick.
Highlights for the duo include a pair of victories for Rick in 2011 at Hamilton and Sandown where he was joined on the podium on both occasions by Todd.
Rick also took Jack Daniel’s to victory lane that year at Hidden Valley with a stunning late race move to climb from fifth into the lead.
Nissan returned to top-flight Australian motorsport in 2013, with Jack Daniel’s continuing with the squad.
Over the past decade, several top international drivers have joined the squad including Marco Andretti, Jorg Bergmeister, Alex Buncombe, Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal, Richard Westbrook, and Ben Collins who played the role of the “The Stig” on the popular television program Top Gear.
The 2015 livery design takes in cues from the 2007 Jack Daniel’s Racing theme, which is complimented by portions of the 2013 filigree design, with the combination based on the one-off livery which debuted at Townsville in 2014 in celebration of Jack Daniel’s 300th V8 Supercar race.
The full-season livery follows on from an interim testing color scheme, which paid tribute to the original 2006 Jack Daniel’s Racing design.
The V8 Supercars Championship kicks off with the Clipsal 500 Adelaide from February 26 to March 1.
RICK KELLY – Jack Daniel’s Racing Nissan Altima
“I think 10 years in the sport is a very big achievement. Jack Daniel’s is a global brand and a very strong one. You can be in any country in the world and you would know about Jack Daniel’s, particularly its history and what it stands for.
“So to be in V8 Supercars to start with is a credit to the sport, for a brand that big to come into the category, and then to stay involved for 10 years is something not many brands have ever done in the history of the sport.
“For us in particular, we’re really proud to have had this association for the entire time that we have had our very own team. It’s a pleasure to work with such a significant brand, and as I’ve always said, it’s one of the most enjoyable parts of my job.
“The first thing I love most is driving the car as you would expect, and number two is working with great brands, and Jack Daniel’s is right at the top of the tree as far as that’s concerned.”
On the 2015 Jack Daniel’s Racing Livery:
“The livery on our cars is always something I’m very passionate about. The livery we ran at Townsville to celebrate 300 races for Jack Daniel’s in V8 Supercars was something that we put a lot of effort into – not only the design of it, but also the materials in the application.
“With the brushed black aluminum and the gold tinting we ran at Townsville, the whole car looked spectacular, and we got so many comments on it from the media, as well as on social media from the fans, and from our business partners as well.
“So we’ve used hints of that Townsville design in the 2015 livery, and for me, it’s the one I’m most in love with out of all of the Jack Daniel’s liveries we’ve run.
“For me, the work we have done with Graphic Art Mart with regards to specialty vinyls, it’s something that nobody else in the sport has done to this level, and it’s obviously in combination with the PPG gloss paint. It’s a really good contrast, and it stands out very well.
“For me inside the car, you want a car that looks fast, and looks aggressive, and I think this is the best Jack Daniel’s livery we have ever had.”