Michael Caruso is an Australian racing driver who currently competes in the Supercars Championship. He's a regular Supercars driver since 2008, driving for two teams since then and winning two races, both at Hidden Valley Raceway.
Earlier in a career, before entering the premier Supercars Championship, Caruso was a vice-champion in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series in 2007 and Australian Formula 3 champion in 2003.
Starting to race at the age of 12
Born in May 1983 in Sydney, New South Wales, Michael Caruso started his racing career at the age of 12 in karting competitions. He won several state and national karting championships in Australia but also the North American Junior Championship in Charlotte, USA.
In 2000, he won the Ford Max Challenge and the Formula Ford Scholarship, entering the Australian Formula Ford Championship in 2001. He spent one season in the championship, progressing to Formula 3 in 2002.
Australian Formula 3 champion in 2003
In his first Formula 3 season, driving a Dallara-Fiat, Caruso scored four podiums to finish fifth in the points. In the same year, he won the Victorian Road Racing Championship.
In 2003, he reached the peak in Formula 3 by winning the Australian F3 title. In sixteen races, he was on a podium thirteen times, including seven victories. In the same year, he also participated in two races of the Australian Drivers' Championship, scoring a podium at Winton.
Refusing offers to race in Europe
With F3 championship title in his hands, Caruso traveled to Europe and worked with several teams. He had offers to race in Formula 3000 but he refused and returned to Australian, making a debut in Supercars development series with Holden Young Lions team. He participated in two rounds, scoring one podium in five races.
In 2005, he spent one more season in the open-wheel championship, racing with Dallara-Alfa Romeo in the Australian Drivers' Championship under the F3 rules. He was a race winner once, at Mallala, finishing seventh in the final standings.
Debut at Bathurst 1000 as a replacement for fatally injured Mark Porter
In 2006, Caruso started his full-time touring car career, driving the #60 Ford BA Falcon for Speed FX/Decina Racing in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series. With four podiums in 18 races, he was fourth in the points.
In October 2006, he made V8 Supercars Championship debut by joining Brad Jones Racing at Bathurst 1000 under the tragic circumstances. He was a replacement driver for Mark Porter who was injured in a crash during a support race on Friday and died on Sunday. In his Bathurst 1000 debut, Caruso was sharing the #12 Ford Falcon with Dale Brede, not finishing the race.
Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series vice-champion in 2007
In the 2007 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, Caruso was driving the #777 Ford BA Falcon for Speed FX/Ford Rising Stars Racing. He was a round-winner three times, at Adelaide, Queensland Raceway, and Phillip Island, scoring six wins in total. He was a championship runner-up, losing a title by five points to Tony D'Alberto.
He was again endurance co-driver in the V8 Supercars Championship, driving a Ford Falcon for WPS Racing at Sandown and Bathurst. He retired at Sandown and finished 15th at Mount Panorama.
Driving for Garry Rogers Motorsport since 2008
For the 2008 season, Caruso secured a full-time seat in the V8 Supercars Championship. He joined Garry Rogers Motorsport to drive the #34 Holden VE Commodore, alongside Lee Holdsworth as his teammate.
Caruso finished his rookie season 18th in the points, with the fifth place at Phillip Island as his best result. At Bathurst 1000, he and Lee Holdsworth didn't finish the race.
Michael Caruso scored his first Supercars win in the #34 Holden
Maiden Supercars victory and Bathurst podium in 2009
In 2009, Caruso scored his maiden Supercars victory by winning the second race of the Triple Crown event at Hidden Valley Raceway. He also achieved a career-best result at Bathurst 1000, finishing in the third place. He was sharing the #34 Holden with Lee Holdsworth.
He was on a podium one more time, in the last race at Homebush Street Circuit, ending a season 11th in the points.
Three more seasons with Garry Rogers Motorsport
Caruso spent three more seasons in Garry Rogers Motorsport's #34 Holden, not repeating good results from 2009. In 2010, he was on a podium just once, at Hamilton, finishing again 11th in the points at the end of the season. At Bathurst 1000, he and Greg Ritter were tenth.
In 2011 and 2012, Caruso scored no wins or podiums, finishing 14th and 15th in the points respectively. At Bathurst 1000, he was tenth with Marcus Marshall in 2011 and fifth with Greg Ritter in 2012.
Michael Caruso competes with Nissan since 2013
Joining Nissan Motorsport in 2013
For the 2013 V8 Supercars season, Caruso joined Kelly Racing-operated Nissan Motorsport to drive the #36 Nissan Altima alongside Kelly brothers and James Moffat. Caruso was a part of team's historic 1-2 victory at Winton Motor Raceway, finishing second behind teammate James Moffat.
It was Caruso's only podium that year and he finished just 23rd in the points. At Bathurst 1000, he was sharing a car with Daniel Gaunt, finishing 25th.
Michael Caruso drives the #23 Nissan since 2015
The first win with Nissan in 2016
In the following two seasons, Caruso was on a podium two times, once in 2014 at Surfers Paradise and once in 2015 at Winton. In 2015, he changed a number on his car to 23. He was tenth in the championship points in 2014 and 12th in the points in 2015. In endurance races, his partner was Dean Fiore. Their highlight was a podium at Surfers Paradise while at Bathurst they finished 15th in 2014 and 13th in 2015.
Then, in 2016, Caruso finally scored his second Supercars victory and the first with Nissan. He won a race at Hidden Valley Raceway. He recorded one more podium that year, ending a season 10th in the points. At Bathurst 1000, he and Dean Fiore finished 8th.
Michael Caruso is a Supercars regular since 2008
Occasional attempts with GT cars
In 2016, Caruso also recorded some guest appearances in GT races, driving a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup for Hallmarc Racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia or Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 for Nissan GT Academy Team Kelly in the Australian Endurance Championship. In 2017, he raced with Nissan at Bathurst 12 Hour, sharing a car with Alex Buncombe and Katsumasa Chiyo.
In the 2017 V8 Supercars Championship, he was 13th in the points at the end of the season. At 2017 Bathurst 1000, he and Dean Fiore finished sixth. The 2018 Supercars season wasn't better. He finished 18th in the points after he scored one podium, the third place at The Bend.