Novocastrian driver Aaren Russell would love to continue with Nissan beyond this weekend’s Gold Coast 600, but he remains focused on his third and final Supercars Championship race for 2018.
The 27-year-old Woodrising resident, who won’t contest his hometown Newcastle 500 event next month, wants to make the most of his current opportunity before contemplating any future contracts.
“It’s definitely something I would love to continue on,” Russell told the Newcastle Herald.
“At this stage it’s just a one-year deal, but for me it’s probably a bit early to be talking about next year with them [Nissan] or anything.
“Everything we’ve worked towards this year and the good results we’ve had can be all taken away in one small error, so I’m just trying to get through Gold Coast and then really re-evaluate everything after that.”
Russell said his first year with Nissan Motorsport and Kelly Racing has been “amazing” and he “can’t speak highly enough” about them.
He will again join forces with Andre Heimgartner on the Gold Coast after previous outings at Sandown (14th) and Bathurst (16th) as part of the Pirtek Enduro Cup during the last month.
“It’s been hectic, but it’s been good,” Russell said.
“Everything kind of comes around so fast and then every two weeks you are racing. It’s good for me because I don’t get the opportunity to be in the car all year.
“And it’s a good part of the year to be racing cars.”
Russell is now up to 25 Supercars finishes since debuting at Bathurst in 2015 and scored a career-first qualifying win at the Sandown 500 on September 15, improving eight places in the 20-lap “Armor All Race For Grid 1” event.
“I just won a Supercar race,” he posted on social media.
“Massive thanks to the whole Nissan Motorsport team and all the supporters out there. That was some of the hardest 10 laps I’ve done.
“It’s a weird feeling to have to put the reset button on for Andres race, but I’m going to soak it up for now!
“This is for all the people who’ve stuck by me.”
He has been exploring his options in the four support categories – Super2 Series, SuperUte Series, Toyota 86 Race Series and Touring Car Masters.
“If I can’t race Supercars then I want to try and be racing as much as I can in Newcastle in whatever. It’s a pretty special round for me and my family,” Russell said.
“I might even end up in a couple of things … it’s more just trying to put pen to paper and get on the grid.”
There will be three Supercars practice sessions at the Gold Coast 600 on Friday before qualifying and the opening race on Saturday. The final 102 laps take place on Sunday.
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