Nissan To Celebrate 25 Years Since First Australian Touring Car Championship Title At 2015 Bathurst 1000


September 30, 2015 By Mike Lee
Last updated on September 30, 2015

#23 NISMO Nissan Altima V8 Supercar to race in colors of Jim Richards’ 1990ATCC-winning Nissan Skyline HR31 at 2015 Bathurst 1000 on October 8 to 112015

Nissan will celebrate its first Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) title by running a spectacular retro livery on its #23 Nissan Altima V8 Supercar at this year’s Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama from October 8 to 11 in Bathurst, Australia.

The #23 NISMO Nissan Altima V8 of Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore will race in the same colors as the 1990 Nissan Skyline HR31, 25 years after Jim Richards used the Skyline to win the 1990 championship.

Richards raced the Skyline in six of the eight rounds of the 1990 ATCC. Richards switched to the new Nissan GT-R R32 for the final two rounds of the1990 championship, but crucially, two of his three round wins that year were with the Skyline HR31.

Richards was so fond of the Skyline that he recently purchased the car for his own collection and now regularly drives it in historic touring car events. Richards also flagged the 1990 colors as his favorite factory Nissan livery.

The 1990 ATCC crown was the dawn of a dominant era for Nissan in Australian motorsport, with the Nissan GT-R R32 going on to win both the ATCC and Bathurst 1000 in both 1991 and 1992 in the hands of Richards and teammate Mark Skaife.

Richards is one of the greatest drivers in Australian touring car history, is a V8 Supercars Hall of Fame member, four-time Australian Touring Car Champion (two with Nissan, 1990 and 1991), and seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner (two with Nissan, 1991 and 1992).

The move follows last year’s well-received Nissan heritage campaign at the Bathurst 1000, where Caruso and Fiore raced in the colors of George Fury’s famous Nissan Bluebird Turbo, which earned the first Nissan pole at Mount Panorama in 1984.

Nissan has enjoyed strong form at Mount Panorama in recent times, with James Moffat and Taz Douglas finishing second in the 2014 Bathurst 1000 in the Nissan Altima V8 Supercar and Katsumasa Chiyo, Wolfgang Reip and Florian Strauss winning the 2015 Bathurst 12 Hour in February in the Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.

“Nissan is happy to celebrate 25 years since our first Australian Touring Car Championship title at this year’s Bathurst 1000 by reviving another one of our famous motorsport paint schemes,” said Nissan Motor Co. (Australia) Managing Director and CEO Richard Emery. “We were really pleased with the reaction to the Bluebird ‘retro’ livery that we campaigned at last year’s Bathurst 1000 and we are confident that the fans will be just as excited to see the Skyline colors return to Mount Panorama this year. Jim Richards’ 1990 ATCC title was the start of a dominant era for Nissan in Australian motorsport. It’s fitting that 25 years later we salute Jim. He not only won Nissan our first ATCC crown, he is truly a legend of Australian motorsport. It’s fantastic to see the affection that Jim still holds for the Skyline, so much so that he has bought the car and is racing it again. The GT-R R32 gets a lot of attention, even to this day, but the achievements of the Skyline HR31 should not be forgotten.”

Jim Richards’ 1990 Australian Touring Car Championship season

Round Circuit Car Result
1. Amaroo Park (NSW) Nissan Skyline HR31 Winner
2. Symmons Plains (TAS) Nissan Skyline HR31 7th
3. Phillip Island (VIC) Nissan Skyline HR31 3rd
4. Winton (VIC) Nissan Skyline HR31 Winner
5. Lakeside (QLD) Nissan Skyline HR31 5th
6. Mallala (SA) Nissan Skyline HR31 3rd
7. Wanneroo (WA) Nissan Skyline HR31 4th
8. Oran Park (NSW) Nissan Skyline HR31 Winner