To reach the upper echelons of Australian motorsport takes focus, determination, passion and talent. And there’s no question that V8 Supercar star Michael Caruso embodies all of these attributes and more when it comes to his racing success. Now in his ninth year of V8 Supercar competition, Caruso is the current pilot of the #23 Nismo Nissan Factory backed Altima at Nissan Motorsport.
Caruso’s competitive racing career though began at the age of 12
in karting with achievements in state and national championships, including the Toyota Premier State Cup Series Junior Championship, the Australian Junior Intercontinental ‘A’ Championship and the North American Junior Championship in Charlotte USA.
Winning the 2000 Ford Max Challenge (the Formula Ford Scholarship Series) gave Caruso the much sort after step up to the national Australian Formula Ford Championship in 2001, then Formula Three in 2002 before winning the F3 title the following year with seven podium finishes.
Despite offers to move to Europe in 2004, Caruso ventured there temporarily for three months, working with the Astromega F3000 Team and the MRD Motorsport Formula Renault Team. Such vital experience was brought back to Australia when in 2004 he began his V8 Supercar career in the development series.
With engineering prowess and gifted driving ability, Caruso earned a runner-up placing in the 2007 “feeder” series, which was enough to earn a birth in the V8Supercar main game with Garry Rogers Motorsport in 2008.
With over 250 competition starts, a pole position and nine podium finishes – including a third place at both the coveted Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600 – the championship race winner from Sydney has now built a profile that sees the 32-year-old as one of the more prominent personalities in pit lane.
As the Factory backed Nissan Motorsport Driver, Michael Caruso finished the 2014 and 2015 seasons in 10th and 12th in the championship standings respectively – the 2014 result saw Caruso as the highest placed Nissan driver and was the first time a Nissan has finished inside the top 10 in the new era of V8 Supercars racing.
With the opening round of 2016 completed, Caruso has already seen success finishing 2nd at the Clipsal 500 and ending the weekend as the leader of this years Championship standings – a position that a Nissan driver has not been in since 1992. As the season continues, there is no doubt that his star will continue to rise in both on-track success and public notoriety.