Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today announced two appointments for its motorsport activities covering global strategy and marketing communications.
Darren Cox will take on the role of director, global motorsports for Nissan. The role has been specially created to reflect Nissan’s continuing emergence as a major player on the global motorsport stage.
Jerry Hardcastle, currently global chief marketability engineer for Nissan, will add the duties of technical director for global motorsport activities.
Cox is widely acknowledged as the driving force behind two of Nissan’s innovative motor racing initiatives, the GT Academy and the 2012 Nissan DeltaWing Le Mans program.
In this role, Cox will expand innovative projects, such as the GT Academy and Nissan DeltaWing, as well as managing the strategy and activation behind the company’s multiple racing programs including the SuperGT Championship in Japan and the V8 Supercar series in Australia.
Hardcastle is the marketing voice to engineering, helping translate customer requirements into technical specifications and is the technical liaison for Infiniti to the Red Bull Racing Formula 1TM team. He continues as chief marketability officer for Nissan.
Cox and Hardcastle will report jointly to Shoichi Miyatani, president of NISMO, and Roel De-Vries, vice president of Global Marketing. Both will be based at Nissan’s technical center in Cranfield, England. Hardcastle’s role is effective immediately, while Cox starts officially on November 1.
Miyatani said: “NISMO is becoming more global on track and on the road. The inclusion of Darren and Jerry in our global motorsport team shows our commitment to further professionalize our Motorsport representation and build on the solid base we have to genuinely use motorsport to showcase the ‘Innovation and Excitement’ that is core to the Nissan Brand.”
Cox said: “Car manufacturers have lost sight of what motorsport is about. It used to be about delivering innovation in motoring in the toughest environment and giving access to the fans so they could experience the excitement. Nissan has started to revive that spirit and, in this new role, I will continue to challenge the established approaches of all parts of motorsport in the mid-term.”
Hardcastle said: “Behind the scenes, Nissan is asking for the rule makers to be more relevant to future motoring trends, such as lightweight and downsizing, while ensuring investments in hardware can be utilized across multiple championships. With all budgets under pressure, this approach must be taken into account.”