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Category: V8 Supercars

Kristian LindbomEvans Motorsport Group drivers Kristian Lindbom and Geoff Emery have completed an encouraging test day in preparation for Round Two of the Dunlop V8 Supercar Series to be held at Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway this weekend.

Lindbom’s Ozstaff Falcon has undergone an upgrade since finishing fourth in he opening round of the Championship at the Clipsal 500. A new rear end has brought the ex-David Reynolds Falcon up to the same spec as the two cars leading the Championship and Lindbom was encouraged by the improvements at Winton during the test.

“The traction out of the corners is now much better and I’m feeling a lot more comfortable with the car,” said Lindbom.

“We also tried some front suspension changes that yielded us a bit of a gain so everything is looking pretty promising heading to Barbagallo.

“It’s a track that I’ve had some pretty good results at in the past so I’m definitely looking forward to getting over there and building on what we achieved at the opening round.”

Emery tested a number of set-up changes in his ex-Triple Eight Commodore that produced good returns. His pace at Barbagallo in the past has been strong and with first class equipment at his disposal he should be among the frontrunners come next weekend.

Former Formula Ford and Production car racer Ryan Simpson also took a turn behind the wheel of the Ozstaff Falcon during the afternoon and is considering a step up to the Dunlop series in the future.

“Ryan approached us after seeing our results at Clipsal and we gave him some laps during the afternoon session to see how he’d go, not only in a V8 but also working with our engineering staff,” said team owner Josh Evans.

“He completed around 50 laps and did a good job, we’d love to be able to give him another opportunity in one of our cars sometime down the track.”

Evans Motorsport Group + Greg Murphy RacingLeading Formula Ford outfit Evans Motorsport Group has finalised its merger with 2010 Dunlop V8 Supercar Series Championship winning team Greg Murphy Racing.

The merging of the two proven and well-resourced organisations will ensure that the restructured team continues to be competitive in both Formula Ford and the Dunlop V8 Supercars Series in 2013 and well into the future.

EMG team owner Josh Evans was delighted to confirm the formalisation of the merger and announced that leading corporate executive and company director David McAdam has been appointed as Chairman of the group.

“David is a highly experienced company director with a strong background in managing engineering and technical organisations and has supported the group in this strategic development,” Evans said.

“He has been instrumental in completing the financial structuring for the merger and garnering the backing of the current team members and supporters.

“With David’s appointment as Chairman we have created an even stronger corporate and management team and a secure financial platform and with the combined infrastructure we now have an exceptional base for the long term success of our drivers and employees.”

The team will operate from the current GMR premises, which includes a state-of-the-art engineering facility and a fully equipped engine building and dyno shop. The key personnel at GMR will remain after the merger and GMR team boss Kevin Murphy will also stay on and act in an advisory role to the Board of Directors.

The new team will create an enduring pathway in talent development by creating a seamless transition from their Formula Ford program through to the V8 Supercar Series.

New Chairman of EMG, David McAdam is looking forward to his new role and buoyant about the future of the organisation.

“With the combination and passion that comes from the merger of the two organisations and the strong cultural alignment of the teams we are confident that current and future EMG drivers will be a force to be reckoned with in the Australian motorsport field,” McAdam said.

Plans for the 2013 season are well progressed with leading 2012 specification V8 Supercars and technical alliances being secured, locking in the team’s technology advantage for the long term.

Alexandre PrematAlexandre Premat continued to get to grips with V8 Supercars when the first Frenchman to tackle the championship full-time hit the city streets of Hamilton in New Zealand for round three last weekend.

Having only arrived Down Under in February, the former Audi DTM ace set about learning the ropes in a series that stirs as much emotion as Australia’s other leading sports, namely Aussie rules football and cricket.

Driving a Holden Commodore for the Melbourne-based Garry Rogers Motorsport (GRM) team, Premat began by taking a leap into the unknown around Adelaide’s concrete-lined streets in March where a new car, track and opponents awaited. Following a solid start, progress continued in the Tasmania Challenge at Symmons Plains Raceway on April 1/2 where he finished 13th after qualifying 11th.

“During those first two races I acquired a lot of information for the team. We are progressing very quickly,” said Alex ahead of the ITM400 in Hamilton, a city located 130km from New Zealand’s capital, Auckland. It’s an event feared by even the established V8 Supercar stars thanks to the various pitfalls littering the 3.4km urban layout and, in particular, Turn 4’s tricky chicane.

The usual mix of two qualifying sessions for each 59-lap (200.6km) race would make up this fact-finding trip for the Frenchman whose free practice pace suggested a promising weekend could be in store. But after being deemed to have jumped that Turn 4 chicane once too often during the first qualifying session, a result of the same captor problem that would ultimately affect his entire weekend, Premat’s 13th fastest time was annulled, leaving him to start the opening race from 23rd.

The subsequently superb comeback drive, which left him fighting on the fringes of the top ten, was ultimately cut short. “Unfortunately 20 laps from the end I touched the wall on the outside of Turn 7,” admitted Alex. “Despite being quite slight it was nevertheless strong enough to break the steering. Fortunately my mechanics did a fantastic job to get the car ready in time for race two.”

That initial joy would once again be short-lived however when the same captor issue returned during qualifying, prompting further chicane cutting and another cancelled time to leave the #33 Commodore starting from the tail of the field. In a re-run of the opening race a scintillating performance helped Premat climb back up the order only for a stop-go penalty – a result of excessive curb climbing – to ultimately leave him 24th overall.

“Obviously it is disappointing but that’s the price you pay sometimes when discovering a new series and circuit with its traps and tricks,” he underlined on Sunday night. “The positive to take, despite the captor problems which we faced all weekend, is that we now have the pace. During race two for instance I set the seventh fastest time, proof that we are making progress. I am certain that we will soon be fighting in the top ten.”

It’s an objective Alex will be hoping to achieve as early as the upcoming round in Perth on May 4-6 .

Photo by Ross Gibb.

Nick PercatIn his first V8 Supercar race since winning the Bathurst 1000 in October, Nick Percat has scored a podium finish in today’s opening Fujitsu V8 Supercar race at Sandown.

Starting from fifth on the grid, Percat pressured the frontrunners throughout the race and pulled off a bold last-lap move on David Russell to grab third place.

He also set the fastest lap of the race in the #222 Coates Hire Commodore and was the only driver in the 1 minute 11 second bracket.

“I got a good start and just focused on staying in touch with the leading pack,” said Percat.

“After a tough few events, I’m just happy to bring the car home in third and give the boys a well deserved result.”

So far it has been an outstanding weekend for the Coates Hire racer, who yesterday won the coveted 2011 SA Sports Star of the Year People’s Choice award.

“It’s a huge honour to win the award and to have so much support from my hometown.

“I want to thank everyone who took the time to vote for me!”

There are two races tomorrow, beginning with a 15-lap reverse grid race at 10.15am local time.

The top ten finishers from today’s race are reversed, meaning Percat will start from eighth.

The final 15-lap race at 1.30pm will conclude the Sandown event, which is the penultimate round of the 2011 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series.

Nick PercatNick Percat and Garth Tander have made history after claiming a thrilling win in the 2011 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 for the Toll Holden Racing Team.

It was a dream Bathurst 1000 debut for 23 year-old Nick, who became the first rookie to win Bathurst in over 30 years, the only previous rookie to ever win the great race was multiple F1 race winner and 6 times Le Mans Champion Jacky Ickx in 1977.

Nick and Garth’s Bathurst win also marked the 200th race win for the Holden Racing Team.

Percat put in an impressive performance in his first ever attempt at the Great Race. Despite a brush with the wall at Griffins Bend, he kept his cool and drove strongly in both his stints to hand the #2 Toll HRT Commodore back to Tander in race winning contention.

It was a nervous time in the Toll HRT garage for Percat as he watched Tander hold off a late charge from Craig Lowndes to win by just .29 seconds – the closest finishing margin in the history of the race.

“It was an amazing day, and it really is a credit to Garth and the team that we were able to win,” said Percat.

“Standing on the podium was nothing like I expected. I knew it would be pretty amazing but no words can describe what that was like.

“The atmosphere was unbelievable, there was a sea of red Holden flags as far as I could see. It was a pretty awesome place to get my first V8 Supercar race win!”

Growing up, Nick watched as his hero Peter Brock took on the mountain for the factory Holden team. Now at just 23 years of age, his is the newest name to be etched on the Peter Brock trophy.

Earlier in the weekend Percat hussled the Coates Hire Racing Development Series car to 4th and 8th respectively, building his on track experience in trying conditions, before stunning the crowd and the watching world with his win in the big one!

Nick will be back in action at Sandown Raceway over the weekend of the 18th – 20th of November for Coates Hire, be sure to stay tuned to further news on this superstar of the future.

Follow Nick on Twitter: twitter.com/NickPercat

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Nick PercatCoates Hire Racing’s Nick Percat has produced two of the standout drives of his short V8 Supercar career at the fourth round of the Fujitsu V8 Series at Queensland Raceway.

Percat qualified strongly in third but was an innocent victim of an opening lap incident in the first 14-lap race.

His #222 Coates Hire Commodore sustained extensive damage in the accident and was forced out of the race, leaving the Coates Hire team with a massive repair job.

“The team worked well into the night to repair the car and it’s a huge credit to the team that we were able to make it onto the grid on Sunday,” said Percat.

The first of Sunday’s two races – the top-ten reverse grid race – was the first full wet race of this year’s Fujitsu Series and also Percat’s first ever V8 Supercar race in wet weather.

Starting from 25th due to his Race 1 DNF, Percat charged through the field and passed 19 cars in just 9 green flag laps to finish 6th.

The feat was even more remarkable considering he drove the majority of the race with limited visibility due to a jammed windscreen wiper.

“It was my first V8 Supercar race in the wet so I chose to be conservative during the opening laps,” he explained.

“Rain is always a great leveler of the playing field and obviously I was happy with how we were able to drive through towards the front.

“It proved we are more than capable of being competitive in the wet weather and that’s important heading into the endurance races.”

The young Coates Hire driver then repeated his performance in the final race of the weekend, passing ten cars on the opening lap and finishing 8th after starting 22nd.

“Sure, it was disappointing that the accident in the first race cost us a chance of a podium finish, but we’ve proved that the #222 Coates Hire Commodore is competitive in both wet and dry conditions

“I can’t thank the team enough for the huge effort they put in this weekend.

“Importantly, we are ready for the endurance races. I’m happy with my pace in the #2 Toll HRT Commodore, I’m feeling fit and confident and ready to team with Garth Tander at Phillip Island next month.”

The next round of the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series supports the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in October.

Percat will join Garth Tander in the #2 Toll HRT Commodore for the L&H 500 Phillip Island from September 16-18.

Nick PercatNick Percat will be back behind the wheel of the #222 Coates Hire Racing Commodore as the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series heads north to Queensland Raceway this weekend.

The 3.1 kilometre Ipswich circuit is the home test track of the Queensland-based Fujitsu teams, but Percat says he isn’t fazed about heading into ‘enemy territory’.

“Although there are drivers in the field who’ve done plenty of testing miles around the circuit this year I don’t think it will prove to be much of an advantage,” said the Coates Hire racer.

“The score has been pretty equal between the Victorian teams and the locals in recent years.

“Last year I finished fifth in my first visit to Queensland Raceway in a V8 Supercar, so I’m confident the Coates Hire Racing team can go better again this year.”

Percat has qualified inside the top three at every Fujitsu round so far this year, and is focused on more strong results at Ipswich.

“Obviously the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 is a really important event for our team. The support we’ve had from Coates Hire this year has been terrific and I can’t wait to see plenty of orange and white at the track this weekend!

“I’d love nothing more than to repay their support and the team’s hard work with another podium finish.”

It will be another busy weekend for 22 year-old, who will again driving Garth Tander’s #2 Toll HRT Commodore during the first two V8 Supercar practice sessions on Friday.

The young racer is teaming with Garth Tander at the L&H 500 Phillip Island endurance race next month, and the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in October.

“The endurance races are just around the corner and we are well into preparation for those, but my focus this weekend is on doing the job for the Coates Hire Racing team.”

Two Fujitsu practice sessions will be held on Friday, ahead of qualifying and the first 15-lap race on Saturday.

The top-ten reverse grid race and the final 22-lap race will be held on Sunday.

In a first for the Fujitsu Series, races 1 and 3 of this weekend’s round will be telecast as part of the Seven Network’s coverage from the Coates Hire Ipswich 300.

Race 1 will be shown on Saturday on 7, while Race 3 will be on Sunday on 7mate.

Queensland is the fourth round of seven in the 2011 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series.

Chevrolet Supercars ME Championship driver Raed Raffii was excited after his test with Paul Morris Motorsports today (Friday), and he wants more time in a V8 Supercar.

At the tender age of 21, Raffii tested Russell Ingall’s Supercheap Auto Commodore at Queensland Raceway and in doing so has become the youngest driver from the Middle East to ever drive a V8 Supercar.

“I am hopeful of being able to get back and do more testing and become better. I would definitely like to race V8 Supercars,” Raed enthused after climbing out of the driver’s seat.

“I can’t believe how fast V8 Supercars are, they’re very, very fast race cars.

“They are difficult cars to drive, very different to the Chevrolet Supercars I drive back home in Bahrain.

“I put a wheel off the track a couple of times; I found it hard to slow the car down, but then the team told me to apply more brake pressure; you have to stand on them (the brakes).”

Ingall and Paul Morris gave the young Bahraini plenty of tips to help him on his way.

“Paul took me out to show me how to drive a V8 Supercar properly and he was impressive, really quick,” Raffii commented.

“His and Russell’s advice was extremely helpful. It was a great experience, one I really enjoyed overall.

Morris described Raffii’s first V8 Supercar test as a success.

“V8 Supercars are unique cars to drive, but Raed has impressed us with his how he approached the test,” Morris said.

“He has genuine ability and is fast. Experience counts for a lot in this category, but I’m confident that with more testing he would quickly fit in and be competitive.”

V8 Supercars Australia CEO, Martin Whitaker, said Raffii’s introduction to V8 Supercars would lead to even greater interest in the category in the Middle East.

“I think what’s nice about today is that Raed has had the chance to realise his own dream and ambition to drive a V8 Supercar and I think the wonderful think about it is that he’s applied himself in a very professional manner,” Whitaker said.

“He’s listened to the advice; he’s taken the advice and slowly but surely bedded himself into driving the car, and from what I can see his lap times are very good.”

Whitaker said the test would hopefully eventuate to a Fujitsu Series drive for Raffii.

“And after that who knows what will happen,” he said.

“Most importantly from a Middle East perspective, it should help encourage greater interest in the races in both Bahrain and Abu Dhabi and hopefully see that translated into more spectators, more interest from investment and a greater television audience.”

Bahrain’s Raed Raffii was all smiles today after having his first taste of a full blown V8 Supercar at Queensland Raceway.

Raffii contests the Chevrolet Supercars Middle East Championship, winning three races in the 14 round 2009/10 series, grabbing five podiums and six pole positions.

Raffii tested 2005 V8 Supercar Champion Russell Ingall’s #39 Supercheap Auto Commodore, the speed of the state-of-the-art V8 Supercar impressing the 21 year old.

“Incredible – I can’t believe how fast V8 Supercars are, they’re very, very fast race cars,” said Raffii.

“They are difficult cars to drive, very different to the Chevrolet Supercars I drive back home in Bahrain.

“I put a wheel off the track a couple of times, I found it hard to slow the car down, but then the team told me to apply more brake pressure – you have to stand on them!”
Paul Morris assists Raffii at today’s test

Paul Morris assists Raffii at today’s test

He was given the opportunity to test the Supercheap Auto Commodore V8 Supercar by series winner Fahad Al Musalam, who tested for Garry Rogers Motorsport in 2008.

Raffii was given driving tips by team owner Paul Morris and Ingall.

“Paul took me out to show me how to drive a V8 Supercar properly and he was impressive, really quick,” said Raffii.

“His and Russell’s advice was extremely helpful. It was a great experience, one I really enjoyed overall.

“I am hopeful of being able to get back and do more testing and become better. I would definitely like to race V8 Supercars.”

Morris said Raffii’s first V8 Supercar test was a success.

“V8 Supercars are unique cars to drive, but Raed has impressed us with his how he approached the test,” Morris said.

“He has genuine ability and is fast.

“Experience counts for a lot in this category but I’m confident that with more testing he would quickly fit in and be competitive.”

V8 Supercars Chief Executive Officer, Martin Whitaker said Raffii’s introduction to V8 Supercars would lead to even greater interest in the category in the Middle East.

“I think what’s nice about today is that Raed has had the chance to realise his own dream and ambition to drive a V8 Supercar and I think the wonderful think about it is that he’s applied himself in a very professional manner,” Whitaker said.

“Hopefully this will develop into a chance for Raed to get a drive in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series and after that who knows what will happen.”

Tony EvangelouDexion Racing has endured a difficult yet ultimately satisfying induction to the V8 Supercar Championship Series at this weekend’s Caterpillar Grand Finale’ at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

Driver Tony Evangelou put in a workmanlike performance to bring his Dexion Racing BA Falcon home in two of the three races and cap off a strong season that has seen the team consistently inside the top ten in the Fujitsu V8 Supercar series.

Answering the call from Team Kiwi Racing, Evangelou and the Dexion Racing Falcon logged their first V8 Supercar championship series laps in Friday’s 135-minute practice session, before going on to qualify the car 30th – but less than three tenths behind full-time V8 Supercar drivers Paul Morris and Brad Jones.

The team gained two places to complete race one – a 100km affair held Saturday afternoon – in 28th position.

Race two would prove to be an unlucky affair for the Dexion Falcon, Evangelou caught up in a number of incidents that put the team onto the back foot whilst running inside the top 25.

Early in the event a steering arm was bent after contact with Marcus Marshall, before further contact with the similar Falcon of Jose Fernandez damaged the front diffuser of the Dexion Racing Falcon.

Evangelou was then ordered to pit lane by race officials due to the loose bodywork on the Dexion Falcon and ended up four laps short of receiving the flag.

Things looked to be going worse at the beginning of the third and final race of the year, the car stopping on the formation lap and eventually starting the race from the pit exit, once the field had passed.

Rebounding from the difficulties, Evangelou then posted a strong performance to avoid the chaos surrounding him to finish the race a strong and satisfying 25th, scoring 44 championship series points for his weekend’s efforts.

“We had a coming together in the second race with Marcus Marshall that bent the steering arm,” Evangelou said.

“Things were going really well up to that point – we weren’t making huge progress but we had made some ground through the field and it was going well. I had made a ripper start and we were definitely on for a top 25 finish.

“Unfortunately after that we had an incident with Jose Fernandez that damaged the front bar – we got a meatball flag and unfortunately DNF’d a few laps from home.”

Evangelou explained that the race three dramas were down to the hot weather conditions, and a slow pace lap as the field lined up for the season finale’.

“At the start of the third race everyone banked up coming down into MG on the formation lap,” he said.

“We have been having some heat soak issues throughout the season and the car just stalled and then wouldn’t refire. The safety crews weren’t mucking around so they towed us back to pit lane straight away.

“Fortunately the car re-fired straight away and we were able to have a really good race to finish 25th.”

Achieving his aim of bringing the car home in one piece this weekend, Tony said that making the step up into the Championship series was a risk well worth taking.

”If we were running in the Fujitsu series this weekend we would have been inside the top three, but this was an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up,” he said.

“This is an opportunity we would never have got, and probably won’t get again at this stage, so it was worth it for the experience alone.

“The boys did a great job this weekend and they all learnt a lot. We did more laps and got so much data which will set us up for next year when it looks like Tim (Slade) will be driving the car.

“Everyone has worked so hard and it’s been a very satisfying weekend for us.”

The Dexion Racing BA Falcon will return to the Fujitsu V8 Supercar Championship in 2007, the season set to get underway at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, March 1 – 4.