Very excited to be returning to the Driver’s Seat alongside Rick Kelly at this year’s Pirtek Endurance Cup. See below story as announced via Fox Sports website:-
LOOK out, Bathurst 1000: The Enforcer is back. Russell Ingall will trade commentary duties for a plum co-driver gig as he pursues a third
Bathurst career win.
Russell Ingall will once again trade his FOX SPORTS microphone for his race helmet for the Pirtek Enduro Cup, joining Rick Kelly at Nissan Motorsport. Ingall will co-drive Kelly’s No. 15 Sengled Nissan Altima at the Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600. After spending many years racing against each other, the pair will join forces in the pursuit of a third win each in the iconic Mount Panorama enduro.
“We’ve known each other and raced against each other for a number of years, I think we’ve got mutual respect for each other inside and outside the car,” Ingall said.
“It’s great to be able to join forces in the three biggest events in the year and with a genuine chance at coming out with getting a result as well.”
Ingall had his first proper hitout behind the wheel of the Altima at Nissan’s test day at Winton on April 26, the 52-year-old impressing Kelly with how quickly he got up to speed in the unfamiliar car.
“The endurance season is a critical time in the championship,” Kelly said.
“You need to have someone is your car that’s rock solid, someone where you can sit back and know that they’re going to do a great job.
“Coming away from the most recent test day his ability was out there for everyone to see.
“His capability to adapt to the car and gel with the guys was quite remarkable, so from that point of view it leaves us very excited for the endurance races to come.”
Ingall logged his first laps in a Nissan at Winton last week.
It took Ingall just two runs in Kelly’s car to make up his mind about an Enduro comeback.
“It was half way through the day after the second run that it was confirmed in everyone’s mind that let’s do a deal,” he said.
“Rick came up to me and said ‘What do you think?’ I liked the car and felt comfortable in it; I got up to speed relatively easily without hanging the thing off the wall, and that was basically it.
“It was a handshake then and there, as easy as that.”
The Nissan Altima that Russell Ingall and Rick Kelly will drive in this year’s Supercars endurance events.
The move sees Ingall join an elite club of drivers to race for three or more different factory race teams in modern Supercars history.But unlike Jim Richards (BMW, Nissan, Ford and Holden), Glenn Seton (Nissan, Ford, Holden), Neil Crompton (BMW, Holden, Nissan and Ford) and James Moffat (Ford, Nissan and Volvo) before him, Ingall will have driven for his three different factories in the space of three straight race weekends.
Ingall was drafted into the Holden Racing Team line-up for last year’s Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 in the place of the injured James Courtney, then crossed the floor to Prodrive for the Gold Coast 600, substituting for the injured Chaz Mostert.
He will also extend his Supercars career statistics to 254 event starts and 587 race starts, records only surpassed this year by Craig Lowndes.
Ingall will have his first race for Nissan at the Wilson Security Sandown 500 on September 16-18 as well as participating in the co-driver session at Winton on Friday May 20