by Michael Teychenne
on 16 January, 2018

Nissan Motorsport is pleased to welcome Nick Ollila as the team’s new Technical Director for the upcoming Virgin Australia Supercars Championship season.

With an extensive career spanning NASCAR, Indycar and Formula One, the team is very excited with the expertise Ollila brings to the four-car Nissan squad.

“This is a new chapter for me, and I can’t wait to get started,” said Ollila.

“We’re not going to go to the racetrack this year with what we had last year. We won’t be better if we do that. Now that everyone is back onboard, it’s game on!”

Taking his position just prior to the Christmas break, the American will oversee the team’s engineering department and will travel to all rounds of the Championship.

“The category is well done, and the cars are tightly controlled - I like that. The tighter you make the box, the more rules you throw at me, the more fun that I have. It forces you to look for that small advantage over the other guy.”

Ollila’s career began in the 70s as a race mechanic, and he enjoyed early success at the 1972 Indianapolis 500 alongside Mark Donohue. Following stints as Chief Engineer for Penske Racing and Director of Aerodynamics for a number of other major NASCAR teams, Ollila then started a consultancy business specialising in CFD and CAD engineering.

“Roger Penske told me once earlier in my career, ‘motor racing is the equivalent to war.’ You need to approach it with that same level of ferocity. You need to be ruthless with your competitors, and you’ve got to challenge the people working with you.”

With over 40 years of experience in world-class motorsport, Ollila has a simple approach to the pursuit of success: constant improvement.

“In motorsports, you are constantly challenged to perform. You can win on Sunday, but on Monday you need to step your game up and get better. You can’t go back to the racetrack with the same thing you had before. You need to be constantly improving. You see how well you’re doing your job every time you hit the racetrack.”

For Team Manager Scott Sinclair, the appointment is a boost for the squad leading into the new season.

“It’s really exciting to have Nick in the team, as his CV speaks for itself,” said Sinclair.

“Nick is across the big picture stuff. He’ll be overseeing development because the team can get stuck in the rhythm of going racing. Nick has got a huge amount of experience in areas where we think we’d benefit, and we believe Nick will stamp his name on the car that arrives in Adelaide. He has already noted areas where we need to clean up a few things. From a race car build perspective, we believe he will have an immediate impact.”

The 2018 Supercars season begins at the Adelaide 500, 1-4 March.


Nick Ollila Career Snapshot

Automotive consultant – 2010 – 2017

Red Bull Racing Team (NASCAR) - Chief Aerodynamicist – 2007 – 2009

Richard Childress Racing - Director of Aerodynamics – 2005 – 2007

Roush Racing – Director of Aerodynamics – 1997 – 2005

Penske Racing South – Chief Engineer – 1990 – 1995

Penske Racing – Engine Builder – 1981 – 1990