KNIGHT TO MAKE BATHURST DEBUT
The winner of the 2008 New Zealand Grand Prix, Andy Knight of Christchurch, travels to Australia this week to make his debut at the famous Mount Panorama motor racing circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales. Knight will be at the wheel of a Subaru WRX STi in the WPS Bathurst 12 Hour race for Production Cars.
Knight will join Queensland-based Wilson Brothers Racing for the event. The team features a strong kiwi presence as Timaru driver Brent Collins and Southland's Inky Tulloch are also part of the driving roster in the team's other car. The Subaru's will contest the Sonax High Performance AWD Class in the event.
Knight will be teamed with British driver James Winslow and Australian Daniel Schulz. Both currently compete in the Australian Formula 3 Championship while Winslow is also a reserve driver for the Great Britain A1GP Team.
The opportunity to race at Bathurst is a valuable one for Knight, the current leader of New Zealand's premier single seater championship, the Toyota Racing Series. The twenty-one year old is pursuing opportunities to race in the Australian Carrera Cup championship that visits Bathurst later in the year and a 12 Hour race at the Mount Panorama circuit offers a good chance to learn the circuit. "You get a whole lot of laps in a race like this. With around three hours at the wheel you could never get an opportunity like this," he say's.
Knight has been to the circuit in the past but has never driven around it. "I've been a passenger in the back seat of a rental car, that's all," say's Andy. The Bathurst circuit is made up of public roads and is very long by New Zealand standards with a lap around it consisting of 6.213 kilometres and twenty-three turns. "It will be a huge challenge," says Knight. "It's a car I've never driven and it is a big, long track but it is a fantastic opportunity to learn for the future."
Knight flies to Australia on Thursday before practice for the event commences with a fifty minute session on Friday morning. Two further sessions of the same duration are scheduled, one on Friday afternoon with the third session on Saturday morning. A one hour qualifying session follows later on Saturday. The race gets underway at 6.30am on Sunday morning, continuing until 6.30 that evening.