Nissan has ended months of speculation with the announcement it will quit the Supercars series after this season.

Since it no longer sells the Altima model on which its race car is based, the decision is hardly surprising.

But the company’s departure leaves a hole in the sponsorship platform that needs to be filled.

Nissan joined the series in 2013 and has enjoyed a strong relationship with Kelly Racing, who it is understand will soldier on without factory backing.

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Rick Kelly

“Nissan has decided to exit the Supercars Championship in order to concentrate on the interests and needs of our current and future customers,” Nissan Australia’s managing director, Stephen Lester, said.

“We have obviously been talking to the Kellys for some time and making the announcement now suits both parties.

“I’d like to thank Todd and Rick Kelly, Michael Caruso, Simona de Silvestro and everyone at Nissan Motorsport for all of their hard work in the time that Nissan Australia has been involved in Supercars.

“I’d also like to thank Nissan Motorsport fans, we truly appreciate your support and will continue to work hard to achieve the best possible results over the course of the season.”

Maintaining its commitment to the team this year, Nissan Australia hopes to celebrate some strong results over the remainder of the 2018 Supercars Championship.

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Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.