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Standout rookie set for Bathurst 1000

Matt Campbell (L) will race for Nissan in this year’s Enduro Cup.

Will DaleFOX SPORTS

NISSAN Motorsport will take an exciting young V8 Supercars rookie to the Bathurst 1000 this year, with Matt Campbell pairing with Todd Kelly for the Enduro Cup.

Campbell will hop aboard Kelly’s Carsales Altima during the team’s test day at Winton on Tuesday after impressing during their pre-season test in February.

“After the previous test day we were all blown away with how good a job he did straight away,” Kelly said.

“He was not only fast but also reliable, and he didn’t put a foot wrong. We’d been working with Matt and his people since then, so it’s great to be able to announce him as our driver for the endurance races.”

Campbell needs no introduction to those who have watched Porsche Carrera Cup in the last 18 months, where the 21-year-old Queenslander has marked himself out as one of the most exciting young prospects in the country.

After breaking through for his first race win at Sydney Motorsport Park last August, he missed the podium once in the remaining 10 races of the 2015 season.

The opportunity will give Campbell his first races in a V8 Supercar.

“I’m really happy to be part of Nissan Motorsport for the endurance races this year,” Campbell said.

“Todd has a lot of knowledge behind him, so hopefully I can learn as much as I can and fast track my learning experience.

“Bathurst is the biggest race in Australian motorsport; to be a part of it is an amazing opportunity from Nissan Motorsport and a dream come true.”

Campbell took victory in one of the Carrera Cup support races at last year’s Bathurst 1000.

Campbell took victory in one of the Carrera Cup support races at last year’s Bathurst 1000.Source:Supplied

He started his 2016 Carrera Cup season off strongly with a win on the streets of Adelaide to currently sit third in the standings.

Tellingly, Campbell has clicked with Mount Panorama on his previous visits to the hallowed circuit.

Campbell stormed to victory in the Carrera Cup race held on the morning of last year’s Bathurst 1000, and he also briefly held the unofficial sports car lap record during practice for this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour.

Campbell topped a practice session with a lap record at this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour.

Campbell topped a practice session with a lap record at this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour.Source:Supplied

“The differences in handling characteristics between my Carrera Cup car and the Nissan V8 Supercar will require a change of technique,” he said.

“With the help of Nissan Motorsport, I’m sure I’ll be able to get up to speed. My goals now are to hone down my driving of the car, to get more miles, and simply to get to know the car better.

“The first opportunity was great to get behind the wheel and drive the car, this test it is time to really knuckle down and get more familiar with everything.”

Nissan also has FOX SPORTS’ V8 Supercars commentator Russell Ingall and the team’s regular Enduro Cup co-driver David Russell logging laps aboard the team’s Altimas during the day.

CONFIRMED PIRTEK ENDURO CUP PARTNERS

#2 — Garth Tander/Warren Luff (Holden)

#7 — Todd Kelly/Matt Campbell (Nissan)

#8 — Jason Bright/Andrew Jones (Holden)

#12 — Fabian Coulthard/Luke Youlden (Ford)

#14 — Tim Slade/Ash Walsh (Holden)

#17 — Scott Pye/Tony D’Alberto (Ford)

#21 — Tim Blanchard/Macauley Jones (Holden)

#22 — James Courtney/Jack Perkins (Holden)

#88 — Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell (Holden)

#97 — Shane van Gisbergen/Alexander Premat (Holden)

#888 — Craig Lowndes/Steven Richards (Holden)

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