PAST AND PRESENT F3 STARS JOIN FORCES TO CREATE 'TEAM OPEN WHEEL' AT 2008 WPS BATHURST 12 HOUR
Three past and present stars of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 Championship will unite as an all-open wheel team in an attempt to win the WPS Bathurst 12 hour endurance race to be held at Mount Panorama this weekend.
Current competitors James Winslow (Opes Prime Team BRM) and Daniel Schulz (Astuti Motorsport) will be joined by Kiwi Andy Knight behind the wheel of a Subaru Impreza WRX STI for Wilson Brothers Racing. The team will contest the Sonax High Performance All Wheel Drive class as part of a two-car WBR operation.
The trio may lack experience at the 6.213km Bathurst circuit and in production car racing, but their impressive Open Wheel resume's ensure that they will have the capabilities to run at the front of the 35-car pack.
British driver James Winslow won the 2007 Formula V6 Asia championship, the 2006 Asian Formula 3 Championship and last year finished fourth in the Australian F3 championship despite missing the final round.
Last weekend he finished second in the opening round of the 2008 championship whilst also fulfilling his duties as the Rookie and Reserve driver for Team Great Britain in the A1GP World Cup of Motorsport. His vast Open Wheel experience also extends to a Champ Car World Series test for Conquest Racing late last season.
"It's going to be a fantastic experience -- every driver wants to race at Mount Panorama," said Winslow.
"It will be my third different car in the space of two weeks after driving the Formula 3 and A1GP car last weekend at Eastern Creek. I'm looking forward to racing at Bathurst -- it looks like a great track and I'm hoping that the experience gained will help me in V8 Supercars in the future."
Schulz, from Ballarat in regional Victoria, made his Formula 3 debut last season and scored several top results and finished on the podium in the Opes Prime F3 National Class at Eastern Creek last weekend. A background in tarmac rally gives him a solid base of information to draw on for his inaugural endurance race.
"It's going to be new to most of us but we feel that we're there to go for the victory," Schulz said.
"I can't wait to get to the mountain. Everyone tells me that it's an amazing place to drive at so I'm really excited to have the chance. Cameron Wilson (from Wilson Brothers Racing) called to put this together and the pieces have fallen into place to make it a team of Open Wheel drivers. The team look to be quite strong so I think the aim is for us to go there and challenge for the win."
New Zealander Andy Knight completes the trio, the 21 year old Christchurch resident having raced at the top of both the Australian Formula 3 and the domestic New Zealand Formula Toyota championship, having won the New Zealand Grand Prix in recent seasons. A limited foray into the New Zealand Porsche Carrera Cup ensures some 'closed roof' racing experience.
2006 F3 Championship Runner-up Michael Trimble will also contest the event as a direct rival for the WBR Subaru, set to drive with Mark King and Mark Brame in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
The WPS Bathurst 12 hour endurance race will be held as part of the WPS Bathurst Motor Festival this weekend, between February 8 -- 10.
Round two of the Kumho Tyres Australian Formula 3 championship for the CAMS Gold Star will be held at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide between February 21 -- 24.
For more information about the WPS Bathurst 12 Hour please visit www.bathurstmotorfestival.com.au