Factory V8 Supercar Tests For Top Ute Drivers
THE top-finishing Ford and Holden drivers in this year’s Auto One V8 Utes Series Protected by ARMOR ALL will receive V8 Supercar tests with the respective factory teams: Ford Performance Racing and the Holden Racing Team.
The tests will take place early next year in 2012-specification V8 Supercars as a reward for a driver representing the manufacturer’s brand at the highest level.
Reigning V8 Ute Series Champion Chris Pither – who will co-drive the Wilson Security Commodore with David Wall at Sandown and Bathurst in the V8 Supercar endurance races later in the year – says the opportunity could be the making of a young driver.
“To have both Ford and Holden offer a test with their factory teams is fantastic, it could be a once in a lifetime chance to impress the best of the best – and who knows where that may lead?” Pither said.
“The tests also highlight just how competitive the V8 Ute Series has become and how seriously it is now viewed as a feeder or development category.”
Holden Sponsorship and Motorsport Manager, Simon McNamara said the opportunity added further incentive for drivers to win.
“Holden has a long and proud history in motorsport and has supported the V8 Ute Series since its inception,” McNamara said.
“Rod Wilson won the first championship in a Holden SS Ute, and in its 11 years the series has fostered up-and-coming talent while never failing to deliver anything but close and entertaining racing.
“The thrill of winning is every race driver’s greatest motivation, but a test in a Holden Racing Team Commodore with V8 Supercar’s most successful team is even further incentive to win.”
Ford’s Group Manager for Motorsport, Sponsorship and Events, Graham Barrie is equally excited about the opportunity to foster new talent.
“One of our current factory-backed drivers, James Moffat was a V8 Ute Rookie of the Year, so the series really stands up as a cost effective way to learn the tracks and, more importantly, learn how to race,” Barrie said.
“The new Coyote-engined FG Ute has had a successful race debut and we are excited about our continuing involvement in the series.
“Ford Performance Racing is currently leading the V8 Supercars Championship and the opportunity to test one of FPR’s race-winning Falcons is a great reward for drivers wanting to deliver the best result for the Blue Oval.”
Monster Energy Commodore driver Nathan Pretty currently leads the V8 Utes Series and would be the driver in line for the test in a HRT Commodore, ironically the same team he’s previously driven for in the V8 Supercar endurance races, most recently in 2007.
Queensland Ford pilot Kris Walton currently sits second and is the best-placed Falcon pilot in the series, which will support the V8 Supercars Championship’s next event at the SKYCITY Triple Crown at Hidden Valley in Darwin in June.
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The Aussie V8 ute series.
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