2013 saw some huge changes in the V8 Supercars championship. After decades of a two make competition, two new brands joined the series, with Mercedes-Benz entering the E63, and Nissan entering the Altima. Whilst neither car would achieve anywhere near the success of their Ford and Holden counterparts and would leave the series within a few years, Nissan did at least bring us some memorable liveries.
Whilst the Todd and Rick Kelly Nissans retained their Jack Daniel’s liveries through their switch from Commodore to Altima, their other two cars brought in a new sponsor in Norton. The digital security company adorned the cars in their logos and distinct yellow and black colours, giving them the nickname the Norton Hornets.
Early in the season the cars ran a majority yellow design, featuring just a black and white stripe along each side, as well as black roof. It was quite basic, but the bright yellow was enough for the two cars to stand out from the crowd (don’t forget the ekol Commodore!), especially being towards the back of the grid a lot of the time!
It didn’t take long for them to make some changes to the livery though, and they moved to a new design featuring a more cleverly placed Norton logo and some thick diagonal black lines with piping that frame the logo well too. It was certainly an improvement and a more distinct and unique livery to the one presented at the beginning of the season.
With the livery change came some success too. While Nissan were consistently poor throughout their tenure in the V8 Supercars Championship, only cracking the top 10 a handful of times in 2013 specifically, they had a major and memorable breakthrough at Winton that year. It all came together perfectly that weekend, with James Moffat leading Michael Caruso home in a Norton Hornet 1-2 finish in the first race of the weekend. It was the most unlikely of results and would be one of just three victories a Nissan take in their seven season stint in the series. Did the livery have anything to do with it? Unlikely, but it’s the bright yellow livery was one of the more memorable parts of Altima’s journey in Australian Motorsport.